Saturday, June 9, 2012

Community News

Their Own Special Light

Local cops carry torch for gifted Special Olympians

Staff/Voice photos


PRTC employee Janet Henderson (L), district office employee Ett Vandereyk (back) and Betty Colk (R) carry the Special Olympics banner Tuesday on Promontory


he Special Olympics is a program of competitive sports events intended for physically or mentally challenged athletes. Being a Special Olympian means you’re good at several sports. Just ask Chilliwack resident Betty Colk who bowls, swims, plays baseball, and this year she’ll be curling in the games in October.


On Tuesday, while about 35 police officers taking part in the Law Enforcement Torch Run for the Special Olympics, trotted up Vedder Rd. from Stevenson torch in hand, Colk and Pacific Region Training Centre (PRTC) administration staff Janet Henderson, carried a banner in front of 25 supporters on the walk portion from Promontory to the PRTC


Colk volunteers at the Crime Prevention Office on Wellington Ave. and was recently honoured in the Rick Hansen Many in Motion Tour.


“I’m a Thursday Girl,” says Colk of her work at the office.


Chilliwack is one of 30 dedicated communities across BC that participate in the fundraiser. Each year, local RCMP officers from the detachment, district office and staff from PRTC carry the torch on a run through Chilliwack to raise money and awareness for the Special Olympics.


The cost is $25 to enter the walk and get one of the coveted lime green shirts and Joella Taylor who works as executive assistant to the officer in charge for the Pacific Region Training Centre says money from the shirts and entry fees helps to cover costs for the athletes to compete in the games.


"I think we've got close to 50 people registered who do the walk," she told the Voice. "All the money raised goes directly toward the local area for Special Olympians to help pay for accommodations, meals and transportation."


After the run, Rick Lucy, who is Abbotsford RCMP Deputy Chief and provincial director of the LETR, thanked walkers and runners for their participation.


"I just want to say awesome turnout. You've blown Abbottsford away," said Lucy about their fundraising effort. "Thanks also to Mayor Sharon Gaetz and the others who helped make the run possible."


"Law Enforcement officials throughout the lower mainland will be participating in the British Columbia Law Enforcement Torch Run from June 5th to 8th within their own communities," said Cpl. Tammy Hollingsworth in a release. "We encourage everyone to come out and support our Special Olympics athletes and cheer on these inspiring runners and walkers for such a great cause."


There was no rest for Lucy as he and the others headed to Surrey and White Rock for more runs.


About the Special Olympics LETR

The Law Enforcement Torch Run is an initiative powered by dedicated law enforcement personnel around the world who want to help Special Olympics athletes experience acceptance, achievement and admiration through sport.


It began in Witchita Kansas in 1981 and it wasn’t long before it spread to BC where it’s become the largest fundraiser for the Special Olympics with 35 countries taking part in the runs have raised in excess of $38 million.


Special Olympics BC is a volunteer-driven organization and the Law Enforcement Torch Run is always in need of new participants. For more information on how you can participate call Megan at 604-737-3077. Each summer the community helps support the local Chilliwack chapter through car washes.


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