60 officers to join run for Special Olympics

June 17, 1994|By Ed Heard | Ed Heard,Sun Staff Writer

More than 60 Howard County law enforcement officers will take part in a torch run to benefit the Maryland Special Olympics today, despite the hot weather they expect to provide a challenge.

Howard County's part in the 12th annual Law Enforcement Torch Run is the next-to-last leg of a five-day run by more than 5,000 officers from across Maryland carrying the "Flame of Hope." The event ends in Towson at opening ceremonies this evening for the 1994 State Summer Games, which will be held tomorrow and Sunday.

Organizers expect to raise at least $100,000 for the Maryland Special Olympics, in which disabled athletes compete in a variety of sports.

"We want to encourage them to try their best," said Howard County police Sgt. Dave Ferguson.

"I always enjoy running, but this is good for the kids," he said. "The heat will slow me down, but you don't think about it. You've got to stay focused so you can run."

Officers from the county police, sheriff's and corrections departments, the Maryland State Police Waterloo barracks, the U.S. Secret Service and the FBI are participating.

Events organized by the police and sheriff's departments have raised more than $11,000 through T-shirt sales, a shooting competition and golf and bowling tournaments.

The runners are to begin on Frederick Road at the Frederick County line near Mount Airy and at another point near the Montgomery County line in Scaggsville.

One group will run north on U.S. 29, the other east on Route 144 -- each carrying a torch for 20.5 miles until they meet near the Golden Triangle Shopping Center at U.S. 40 and Ridge Road in Ellicott City.

From there, the officers will run east on U.S. 40 to the Baltimore County line, where another group of officers will take the torches to carry them to Towson State University.

"It's a very worthwhile charity event," said Chief Deputy Chuck Cave of the Howard sheriff's department, who has run several times in the past. "It's like we're running it for them. We're like a Big Brother. It's rewarding."

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