Officers from the Dalton Police Department will be indulging in two of their favorite pastimes later this month: doughnuts and raising money to support Special Olympics Georgia. For the second year in a row, DPD officers and staff will be climbing to the roof of the Walnut Avenue Krispy Kreme store on Saturday, April 22nd for Cops on Doughnut Shops as part of our Law Enforcement Torch Run fundraising effort.
The fundraiser will kick off at 8:00 am on April 22nd with volunteering officers taking turns being taken to “jail” on top of the Krispy Kreme store, asking for “bail” money from patrons in the form of donations to the Special Olympics cause. Special Olympics athletes will also be on hand to pose for pictures with visitors and to sign autographs. Dalton officers will also be volunteering inside of the doughnut shop, helping to serve customers.
Officers pose on the roof of the Dalton Krispy Kreme in March 2016
The event is part of the agency’s Law Enforcement Torch Run fundraising effort. Each year, the Torch Run is the largest fundraising effort for Special Olympics Georgia. More than 100 law enforcement agencies across the state take part through various fundraisers which culminate with a series of relay runs with the Special Olympics torch. In 2015, the Torch Run effort raised more than $866,000 in Georgia. Over the years, Georgia’s Torch Runs have raised more than $11 million for the Special Olympics. Last year, the DPD was able to raise more than $12,000 for the cause.
Funds raised through the Torch Run fund many aspects of the Special Olympics operation. Much of that money goes to send athletes to compete in the statewide Special Olympics Games. It costs $85 to send one athlete to one of the state games meets. At these games, children and adults with intellectual disabilities get to compete in high quality sports, interact with peers, and experience new places. Participation in the games means athletes work towards a goal, learn and master new skills, and develop good habits that could improve their health and lives.
Special Olympics Georgia does not receive funds from local, state, or federal funds. SOGA also does not receive United Way funding. Funding for SOGA, which operates competitions year-round for their athletes, comes from donations and fundraising events such as the Law Enforcement Torch Run. Neither Special Olympics athletes nor their families pay fees to compete. More than 26,000 athletes are currently being served by SOGA.
The DPD’s Torch Run Relay is coming up on soon. Anyone who wants to sponsor a DPD runner can contact Sergeant Ricky Long at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 706-278-9085, dial 9 and enter extension 168 for more information. Donations can also be made to the department’s fundraising effort itself either through a separate monetary donation or purchase of Law Enforcement Torch Run merchandise. Torch Run t-shirts and hats are on sale of the Police Services Center at 301 Jones Street for $15 and $12 respectively.