Photo/Story Gallery 2009

FHP leads the way for Special Olympics Torch Run

HSMV Director Electra Bustle, FHP Colonel John Czernis, HQ and Academy Staff, and the 117th Recruits on the steps of the capitol in Tallahassee.Troop B Staff with Special Olympics athletes.The Law Enforcement Torch Run is held each year to raise money to cover the transportation costs for Special Olympic athletes to attend the Summer Games.

This year’s Tallahassee, Lake City and Alachua legs of the Torch Run were held in April, marking the event’s 26th Anniversary.

Tallahassee: Runners included staff members from FHP headquarters and the academy, as well as, the 117th Academy Class.

Lt. Gov. Kottkamp speaking to the audience from the steps of the Capitol in Tallahassee.Attorney General Bill McCollum speaking to the audience.This 1.7 mile leg of the run ended at the steps of the old Capitol downtown. They were greeted by various dignitaries, including Lt. Governor Jeff Kottkamp, Attorney General Bill McCollum, FLHSMV Executive Director Electra Bustle and FHP Director John Czernis.

Lake City: Troop B Captain Tim Culhane, County Coordinator for Special Olympics Torch run for Columbia County, addressed the 15 Special Olympic athletes and 50 sponsored runners prior to the 1.5 mile run.

Troop B carries the torch.Troop B Captain Tim Culhane addressing the audience at the Lake City event.Other agencies that participated this year were the Department of Transportation, Department of Corrections, Florida Wildlife & Conservation, Columbia County Sheriff’s Office, and Lake City Police Department.

Alachua County: When the torch passed thru Alachua County Troop B Sergeant Nicholas Causey carried the torch during that three mile leg of the Special Olympics Torch Run.

Sheriff Darnell, FHPA Major Byrne & FHPA Capt Twist Troopers run with Special Olympics athletes.FHPA Captain Beaver Twist leads the wayFHP Auxiliary’s Major Steve Byrne, Captain Beaver Twist (pictured above with Alachua County Sheriff Sadie Darnell), Sgt. Craig Baylis and Trooper Zeke Brown helped with the organization of this event.

FHP recruits and staff running down Monroe Street in Tallahassee. FHP recruits and staff running reach the front of the capitol in Tallahassee.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. However, the fully developed 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.

runners hold up the torch on the steps of the Capitol in Tallahassee. The torch is still burning and held high by these two runners.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!

For more information on the annual Torch Run and Special Olympics visit the website:

Additional photo -1 Additional photo -2 Additional photo -3 Additional photo -4 Additional photo -5 Additional photo -6 Additional photo -7 Additional photo -8