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Law enforcement raising money for Special Olympics in Red Deer

Red Deer Advocate - 8/25/2018

Law enforcement officers are camping high atop scaffolding at Parkland Mall to raise money and awareness for Special Olympics — rain or shine — this weekend.

Officers with the Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics Alberta climbed up to their perch in front of Walmart at noon on Friday and will remain there until 4 p.m. on Sunday.

For the third year in a row, Korey Cleland, with Alberta Correctional Services, will be encouraging people to donate from the rooftop location.

"Last year we raised $18,500 so the goal is $20,000," Cleland said.

"The more money we raise, the happier the athletes are and that makes us happy."

He said Special Olympic athletes attend the event and thank officers for the work they put into the annual fundraising event, but it's the athletes who do all the hard work to train and compete.

He said fundraising efforts continue on site throughout the day and into the night until the mall parking lot is empty.

"I look forward to this event every year. This is our big fundraiser. We beat Edmonton and Calgary combined every year," Cleland said.

Activities during the event include face painting and photos with an Old West prison trailer. Law Enforcement Torch Run merchandise will be available for sale and donations will be accepted.

Jerry Tennant, chairman Special Olympics Red Deer, said money raised funds Special Olympic programs for more than 300 athletes in Red Deer.

"We run 14 different sports, eight in the winter and six in the summer, so we have to buy uniforms and equipment and facilities. We pay for transportation for out of town competitions. It all goes towards that."

Earlier this summer local athletes went to national Special Olympics competition in New Brunswick and Nova Scotia.

"We sent 10 athletes, six coaches and they came back with 12 medals."

Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics Alberta, Walmart and Free Our Finest partner to put on the event.

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