May 19, 2017 --
Roughly two dozen police officers and active-duty service members represented Marine Corps Logistics Base Albany at Albany-Dougherty County’s annual 2017 Georgia Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics, May 16.
Carrying the ceremonial torch, Lt. Delaney Bourlakov, adjutant, MCLB Albany, led the run with fellow-Marine comrades and Marine Corps Police Department personnel in the early morning kickoff.
Bourlakov commented on the significance of volunteering for the activity and her feelings about being asked to carry the torch.
“I love to volunteer and I also love to run,” Bourlakov said. “Those two things were combined today and I was told I would get the chance to carry the torch. So, I’m super excited and glad to be a part of Albany’s community and supporting Special Olympics.”
Another Marine participant of the event, Sgt. Latarcia Brown, Command Operations Center, Marine Corps Logistics Command, discussed the importance of supporting the Special Olympics Torch Run.
“It is important to support (events) like the Special Olympics, especially with the military and the law enforcement coming out (and doing) it together,” Brown said. “It’s awesome. I’ve done Torch Runs in the past and I wanted to try one here in Albany.
“I hope there’s a lot more military presence at the next one, and that we can show support for activities like this as well as to the City of Albany,” she concluded.
Lt. Victor Singleton, chief accident investigator, MCPD, MCLB Albany, who has coordinated and supported the event for five years, said he and others from the installation participate in the Special Olympics Torch Run, annually.
“It’s my (way) to make sure that we put our efforts into supporting Special Olympics,” Singleton said. “This is the law enforcement portion of the kickoff. Each year, for the Torch Run, we have a group from Marine Corps Logistics Base (Albany).
“This is the fifth year that I’ve been coordinating and making sure that we have personnel here to run,” he added. “We carry the torch from Turtle Grove Park, (Albany, Georgia), usually our starting point; take it and hand it off to the representative of the Special Olympics at the courthouse. From there, they’ll continue to run to another destination.
“I want to thank all the (MCLB Albany) personnel for participating and to (the base) Public Affairs Office for covering our portion of the run.”
The team jogged from Turtle Grove Park, to the first rally point at the Albany-Dougherty County Courthouse where a crowd of local law enforcement officers and event supporters awaited.
After a brief commemorative ceremony in front of the courthouse, a five-car police motorcade escorted runners to their three-mile destination, west on Pine Avenue to Dawson Road.
The 5k run ended at the Dawson Road Church of Christ, Albany, Georgia. The annual event is in observance of the city’s Law Enforcement Memorial Week, which is held in commemoration of fallen police officers.
Known as Guardians of the Flame, law enforcement members and Special Olympics athletes carry the “Flame of Hope” into Opening Ceremonies of local competitions, according to the website: http://www.specialolympics.org/Sections/Donate/Special_Olympics_Torch_Run.aspx.
The website also reports, there are over 97,000 law enforcement members that carry the “Flame of Hope” annually. The flame symbolizes courage and celebration of diversity uniting communities around the globe. Law enforcement officers have been raising awareness and funds for Special Olympics for over 35 years.
To view more photos from the local event, visit MCLB Albany’s Facebook page at: https://www.facebook.com/Marine-Corps-Logistics-Base-Albany-512695405469372/.