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Carrying the torch: Annual run for Special Olympics is personal for some

News Enterprise - 5/30/2018

Ronnie Crim of the Hardin County Sheriff's Office has a personal stake in the Special Olympics, which is why he participates in the annual Kentucky Law Enforcement Torch Run benefiting the event.

Crim has an 18-year-old daughter with down syndrome who participates in Special Olympics bowling. He said she also used to take part in track and field and cheerleading.

"It's personal for me. And if these special needs kids can go out there with their disabilities and run, jump, whatever it may be, we can do it once a year, too," he said, noting he has been taking part in the torch run since moving to Hardin County in 2005.

Crim was one of dozens of runners from multiple departments participating Tuesday in the torch run in Hardin County, which included representatives from the sheriff's office and Elizabethtown and Radcliff police departments and other organizations.

According to its website, the mission of the torch run is to raise money for and awareness of Special Olympics Kentucky. Law enforcement officers from throughout the state carry the Flame of Hope in honor of the Special Olympics athletes in their area and around the world.

Darrell Brangers, communications supervisor for EPD, said the department has been participating in the torch run for roughly 27 years now, and he has been involved in all but one. He said the run is a form of camaraderie for the police department.

"It's just kind of a thing to get everybody together as a group," he said.

RPD Capt. Willie Wells agreed.

"We like to remember the special needs kids that sacrifice every day. ... We like to show our camaraderie with fellow agencies," he said. "Some of those kids give the ultimate sacrifice and we like to try to do the same, even if it is just walking or whatever we can get out of it."

Roberta Haycraft of Herb Jones Chevrolet was driving a vehicle following along with EPD runners. Her husband, Billy, works as a dispatcher with the department and she has assisted with the torch run for several years.

"It's an honor to get to help out by driving vehicles for them," she said. "I'm all about doing something for kids. ... They're our future."

 
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