PMO Leathernecks run to support Special Olympics
By Sgt. Phuong Chau
| | May 12, 2003
ALBANY, Ga. -- More than 20 military policemen and Marines ran 5.3 miles through Albany Friday in support of Special Olympics Georgia as part of the 15th Annual Law Enforcement Torch Run.
According to Meg Norton, Special Olympics special events manager, such runs raise money for the Special Olympics. More than 1,500 law enforcement personnel from at least 150 law enforcement agencies throughout Georgia participated in the relay run. Law enforcement personnel will carry the lighted torch to Emory University in Atlanta to begin the 2003 Special Olympics Games.
After Col. Joseph R. Wingard, the base commanding officer, lit the torch, he and the Marines left the back gate area and ran in formation to the Dougherty County Courthouse on Pine Avenue. Escorted by local law enforcement agencies and base Provost Marshal's Office vehicles, Wingard and the Marines carried the torch through Albany yelling cadences that drowned out the noise of early morning traffic.
"Fostering a positive relationship with the community is one goal of the Marine Corps and is one reason PMO participated in the run," said Gunnery Sgt. Casey Robinson, PMO operations chief.
Last year law enforcement runs raised $450,000 for the Special Olympics through donations, t-shirt and other paraphernalia sales and other fund-raisers. Local law enforcement runners will travel more than 30 miles during the torch's journey to the games.
Robinson reported that he's certain PMO has participated in the annual event for the past 10 years, and possibly longer.
"This is representative of the excellent working relationship we have with the local law enforcement agencies," said Robinson. "Events like this allows us to work well with the community and produces a good rapport with local law enforcement."