James B. Hunt, Governor
Department of Correction
|DOC employees, families volunteer for World Games||DOC Employees Support Special Olympics
by the excitement of the 1999 Special Olympic World Games being held in North Carolina
this year, correction offices across the state signed up to take part in the fund-raising
efforts for the states Special Olympics games.
caps, organizing fishing and golf tournaments and even holding car washes. Officers and staff also participated in the four legs of the Torch Run that brought the flame for the Special Olympics games from the four corners of the state to Derr Track at N.C. State University in Raleigh.
Central Prison staff picked up the torch from Cary Police and carried it past the states oldest prison and on to the Raleigh police station. From there, more than 100 law enforcement and correction employees ran the torch to the state games opening ceremonies. Mose Cannon, a third shift correctional officer at Central Prison, ran the final leg of the Torch Run.
"As we ran into the stadium, everyone was cheering," Cannon said. "When I reached the field, the athletes were there giving us high fives. The excitement they had for what we were doing, it gave me a kind of energy I had never experienced before. It helped me understand the Special Olympics, and it made me feel good about what I had done."
"Im a distance runner, and Ive run for years," said Randolph Parker, a captain at Odom Correctional Institution who also ran the final leg. "The run was only 2.2 miles, but it was nothing like Id ever experienced. I didnt realize it was going to be like that."
A runner carrying the lit torch led the group into the dark stadium. Spectators filled the bleachers and cheered out as the runners rounded the track. The officers formed a line and handed the torch from one man to the next up to the Special Olympics flame. As the flame was lit, fireworks exploded into the sky launching a weekend filled with activities for the Special Olympics athletes.
That special night at the stadium capped months of hard work by DOC employees who signed up for the first time in large numbers this year to support the event. Until this year, the only state correction facility to take part in the Law Enforcement Torch Run was Forsyth Correctional Center with their annual golf tournament.
Those who raise more than $6,000 receive plaques and have their names on the next years Torch Run fundraising T-shirt.
As of June 7, DOC offices had raised $100,267. The deadline for depositing this years collections is July 31. At the June report, the top correction fundraisers were Neuse Correctional Institution and Judicial Districts 22 and 23 in the Division of Community Corrections Judicial Division III.
Neuse Correctional Institution was presented a gold medal June 14 by John Blalock, DOCs coordinator for the Law Enforcement Torch Run.
"After the February kick-off meeting, we met with small groups of our staff and showed them a film about the Special Olympics," said Ed McMichael, Neuses superintendent. "We felt if each of our employees sold one shirt and one hat, we could meet our goal of $6,000."
While most of the fund raising was directly a result of shirt and cap sales, Neuse also held a golf tournament that drew 64 players. McMichael recognized correctional officer David Johnson for his efforts. The prisons golf tournament was organized by Celina Grantham, David Hill and McMichael.
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