The Jacksonville Sheriff's Office hosted the Duval County Law Enforcement Torch Run® for Special Olympics on Friday, April 22, 2022.
The event is where criminal justice agency members and special athletes run together, bringing the "Flame of Hope" to the Opening Ceremony of the annual games.
Eight criminal justice agencies throughout the region participated in the one-mile run alongside local Special Olympians. This year's event ended at The Jacksonville Fairgrounds.
Each year these agencies help raise money for Special Olympics Florida through the purchase of merchandise in the form of hats and shirts. The funds raised help athletes participate in the Special Olympics Games. Since Duval County's last run, more than $5,000 was raised for the cause.
At the opening ceremonies, Assistant Chief Paul Restivo of the Community Engagement Section presented a Challenge Coin to Megan Bell, who gave the Athlete's Oath, and Leigh Ann Gray, who led the audience in the Pledge of Allegiance.
Larry Schmitt, JSO's Director of Personnel and Professional Standards, started the race by carrying the torch.
For more information about this event and Special Olympics Florida please go to: https://specialolympicsflorida.org
*A special thank you to our local sponsors, The Jacksonville Fairgrounds and Walmart for donating services to help make this event more memorable for participants.