Marietta Police Deputy Chief Billy Grogan will represent Georgia law enforcement at the 2009 Special Olympics World Winter Games in Boise, ID, and will carry the torch as it makes its way through Idaho January 28-February 6, 2009 and into the opening ceremonies February 7, 2009.
“Over 150 law enforcement runners and Special Olympic athletes from around the world will carry the torch around the state and into the opening ceremonies, and only one law enforcement representative is selected from Georgia every two years for this event,” Grogan said. “It is an honor to have been chosen.”
The Special Olympics Flame of Hope was lit November 12 in Athens, Greece and began a three-month journey across five continents to deliver hope, courage and inspiration to Special Olympics athletes worldwide.
The Flame will stop in 10 cities around the world and travel more than 37,000 miles, and at each stop, the Flame will be carried by teams of law enforcement personnel, Special Olympic athletes and volunteers.
The Flame will reach Idaho January 28, 2009 and begin the final leg of the Global Law Enforcement Torch Run. It will reach Boise, ID, February 7, 2009 and be used to light the Cauldron to mark the official start of the 2009 Special Olympics World Winter Games.
A 142-member international team, which will carry the torch on the final leg, includes 95 law enforcement officer runners, 10 Special Olympics athletes and support personnel, who will serve as Guardians of the Flame® as they welcome and receive the “Flame of Hope” in Idaho.
To symbolize the significant contribution of law enforcement and the inclusion of Special Olympics athletes in the unified Torch Run, and to increase awareness of Special Olympics and the World Games, the Final Leg Team will hold extensive runs and ceremonies in all of the host town program communities and in many other towns throughout Idaho.
“I think they made a great selection in choosing Deputy Chief Grogan to represent Georgia because of his extensive involvement with Special Olympics over the years, including the ‘Cops on Doughnut Shops’ Special Olympics fundraiser, during which Marietta Police officers eat, sleep, and play on the rooftops of Krispy Kreme stores around the city, and the ‘World’s Largest Truck Convoy,’” Marietta Police Chief Dan Flynn said.
About the Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics
The Law Enforcement Torch Run® for Special Olympics is an international movement where members of the law enforcement community initiate and implement Torch Runs and events to raise funds and awareness for Special Olympics.
Beginning in 1981 when Wichita, Kansas Police Chief Richard LaMunyon saw an urgent need to raise funds for and increase awareness of Special Olympics, the Law Enforcement Torch Run remains Special Olympics’ largest grass-roots fund-raiser and public awareness vehicle. In 2007, the torch run raised more than $30 million for Special Olympics programs. More than 85,000 law enforcement officers carried the “Flame of Hope” around 50 states and 35 nations raising awareness and funds for Special Olympics. Thousands more supported the runners’ efforts through “Adopt-A-Cop” runner sponsorships, corporate sponsorships and Torch Run t-shirt and other merchandise sales to fellow law enforcement officers, families, friends and the public.
All expenses for Deputy Chief Grogan’s participation are paid for by Special Olympics Georgia.
The Global Law Enforcement Torch Run® for Special Olympics is sponsored by DHL.
For more information, call the Marietta Police Department at 770-794-5300.