“The mission of Special Olympics Florida” is to provide year-round sports training and athletic competition in a variety of Olympic-style sports for children and adults with intellectual disabilities. It gives them the continuing opportunity to develop physical fitness, demonstrate courage, experience joy and participate in a sharing of gifts, skills and friendships with their families and other Special Olympic athletes and the community.
The signature event of the law enforcement community’s year-round support of Special Olympics is the annual Law Enforcement Torch Run. For 28 years, the “Flame of Hope” has traversed Florida in an intrastate relay of simultaneous routes throughout the state, covering countless thousands of miles. The torch is carried by federal, state, and local law enforcement officers all the way from the Alabama/Florida state line in Century to the Opening Ceremonies of Florida’s annual State Summer Games, which will be held May 13-15, 2011 at Disney’s Wide World of Sports. The First Leg of the Torch Run begins in Escambia County (Century) on Monday, March 28, 2011 and ends with the Final Leg in Osceola County (Kissimmee) on Friday, May 13, 2011, with stops along the way in virtually every county in Florida.
The Florida Law Enforcement Torch Run is the largest annual public relations and fund raising event amongst Special Olympics Florida and law enforcement agencies. Statewide, the participating chiefs, officers, sheriffs, deputies, special agents, correctional officers, probation and parole officers, military police and cadets from virtually every branch of federal, state, county and municipal law enforcement, represent a total of over 300 different agencies. In 2010 the Florida Department of Corrections led all other agencies in the number of participants and the amount of money raised, and is once again proud to be a supporting partner of the Special Olympics Florida Law Enforcement Torch Run.”
The Walton County leg of the SOFL LTR is scheduled for March 31, 2011. Local, State, and Federal Law Enforcement Officers will gather at approximately 8:30 a.m. in Defuniak Springs, Florida and carry the Torch eastbound on State Road 90 and finish on the Walton County Courthouse front lawn.