Photo/Story Gallery 2005

FHP Helps Carry Flame of Hope

Troopers Dobbs and Murphy leading the way for the athletes. Colonel Knight, Chief Dawson, and the FHP runners standing on the steps of the old Capitol. The annual Law Enforcement Torch Run is held each year in Tallahassee to raise money to cover the transportation costs for Special Olympic athletes to attend the Summer Games. This year’s Torch Run was held on April 18th, marking the event’s 22nd Anniversary.

Pictured left, Troopers Mike Dobbs and Clay Murphy help lead the way for the athletes and right, Colonel Knight, Chief Dawson, and the FHP runners on the steps of the old Capitol.

Runners, which included FHP’s 110th Recruit Class, began the 1.7 mile run at the Publix on the corner of Monroe & Tharpe and ended at the steps of the old Capitol downtown. They were greeted by various dignitaries, including FHP Colonel Chris Knight; Mayor John Marks, Police Chief Walter McNeil, Sheriff Larry Campbell, and Charles Bronson, Florida’s Agriculture Commissioner. Participants were also treated to some encouraging comments from Attorney General Charlie Crist.

The Torch Run is the largest grass-roots fundraiser and public awareness vehicle for the Special Olympics organizers, raising more than $20.5 million for Special Olympics Programs around the world. More than 85,000 law enforcement officers carried the Flame of Hope across 35 nations, and thousands more supported the runners’ efforts through Adopt-A-Cop runner sponsorships, corporate sponsorships and Torch Run t-shirts (more than 400,000 sold) and other merchandise sales.

At its most basic level, the Torch Run is an actual running event in which officers and athletes carry the Flame of Hope to the Opening Ceremonies of local Special Olympics competitions, State and Provincial Games, and the National Summer or Winter Games. At its most fully developed, the Torch Run initiative encompasses a variety of fundraising vehicles in addition to the Torch Run itself, such as merchandise sales, donations and pledges, corporate donations, and other special events such as Polar Plunges and golf tournaments.

Each year, the Florida Highway Patrol is proud to take an active part in this annual fundraiser and to offer our support for a most worthy cause!

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Troopers Dobbs holding the torch. Speaches given during the ceremony. Colonel Christopher Knight during the ceremony. The 110th doing their stretching exercises before the run. The 110th and Academy Staff. Runners coming down the hill. Heading for the Capitol Passing in front of the Capitol. Recruits stand in formation during the ceremony. Special Olympic athletes and dignitaries. $1,132,000 was raised for the Special Olympics. The 110th & Academy Staff in front of the Old Capitol. The 110th form up outside the Old Capitol. Recruit Menard enjoys lunch with the rest of the 110th. Colonel Knight speaking to the Special Olympics media.