Unsung Hero and Torch Run Director’s Award Winners Also Honored
Raleigh, N.C. — The North Carolina Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics recently presented state-level awards to outstanding individuals and law enforcement agencies that support Special Olympics in North Carolina at the 2013 Torch Run Kickoff Conferences in Raleigh and Hickory, according to Bill Frick, director of the Torch Run and retired detective with the Chapel Hill Police Dept.
Officer Sherry Bruscino of the Greensboro Police Department and Officer Don Silardi of the Landis Police Department were inducted into the 2013 North Carolina Torch Run Hall of Fame. The two were honored for many years of dedicated service to the Torch Run and Special Olympics.
The North Carolina Torch Run Hall of Fame was established to recognize individuals who have achieved a new level of fundraising and awareness of Special Olympics North Carolina through the Law Enforcement Torch Run
Officer Sherry Bruscino of the Greensboro Police Department has been involved with the Torch Run for more than 12 years. In 2006, she took over as the Department’s Torch Run coordinator and she expanded the Department’s Torch Run fundraisers to include several golf tournaments, Cops-on-Top events and a 5k race. She also recruited a solid team within the Department to help organize the fundraisers with lots of enthusiasm and organization. Each year she is able to recruit new officers to volunteer and develop their own affinity to the cause. Since taking over as the Torch Run coordinator, the Greensboro Police Dept. has ranked among the Top 10 agencies every year. In addition to raising funds and awareness, she also makes time to volunteer as the Special Olympics Guilford/Greensboro Spring Games. Her enthusiasm and dedication to the Torch Run and Special Olympics NC athletes is second to none.
Officer Don Silardi of the Landis Police Department has been involved with the Torch Run in several different police departments over the past 14 years. In each department he has made a measurable impact in the Torch Run efforts. At the Landis Police Department, the department wasn’t involved in the Torch Run before his arrival and after one year had broken into the Top 20 agencies in the state due to his leadership. He has a knack for fundraising and for passing along his passion for Special Olympics to other officers and getting them involved. He had the honor of representing North Carolina and the United States as a Final Leg Torch Runner in the 2005 Special Olympics World Winter Games in Japan. He currently serves in a part-time role at the Landis Police Department.
Law Enforcement officers and agencies were also honored at the Conferences with the Torch Run Director’s awards and the Bill Dalton Unsung Hero Award for their Torch Run efforts.
Lt. Sean Jones of the New Hanover County Sheriff’s Office was honored with the Bill Dalton Unsung Hero Award for his unheralded but effective contributions to the Torch Run and Special Olympics in spirit, dedication and enthusiasm. Jones has served as the Torch Run coordinator for the New Hanover County Sheriff’s Office for more than 12 years. He has worked hard coordinating tip-a-cop and building sit fundraisers in addition to hosting numerous sports tournaments as fundraisers. He is also very instrumental in ensuring the Torch Run relay leg runs smoothly through his community by coordinating logistics and traffic control while running in the leg himself. His dedication to the Torch Run and Special Olympics athletes runs deep.
Enterprise Bunn Sign Plant in Bunn was honored with the Torch Run Director’s Award for their significant and consistent fundraising efforts within the Torch Run. The Enterprise Bunn Sign Plant, part of the NC Department of Public Safety, has raised nearly $15,000 a year for the NC Torch Run for the past 10 years. In addition to donations collected for T-shirts, this agency hosts multiple special events and participates in a variety of unique fundraisers.
Alexander Correctional Institution in Taylorsville was also honored with the Torch Run Director’s Award for their creative approach to fundraising for the Torch Run. The Alexander Correctional Institution has been very successful hosting an annual polar plunge and even built a ramp to propel participants in the water. The agency has also gotten creative during their annual building sit fundraisers. The officers found they can be just as successful raising funds using rocking chairs outside a restaurant rather than being on the roof. Annually the agency raises nearly $15,000 for the NC Torch Run.
“The hard work and fundraising efforts of the Law Enforcement Torch Run officers allows us to provide first class sports training, competition, and development for Special Olympics athletes and volunteers,” said Frick. “These individuals and agencies have made an immeasurable impact on the lives of Special Olympics NC athletes. Their efforts have helped make Special Olympics North Carolina one of the best sports programs in the world.”
To obtain a photo of any of the NC Torch Run award winners, please contact, Megan O’Donnell, Special Olympics NC vice president of communications, at 919-818-4598.
To learn more about the Torch Run, contact Dot Kohlbach, sr. manager for the NC Torch Run, at 1-800-843-6276 ext. 119. (NC Only)
About the NC Law Enforcement Torch Run
The North Carolina Law Enforcement Torch Run is a year-long effort to raise funds for Special Olympics North Carolina. Officers run a 16-day relay passing the Flame of Hope across the state. The relay culminates in the lighting of the cauldron to begin the SONC Summer Games. The Torch Run has raised more than $18 million for SONC since the late 1980’s. Special Olympics North Carolina provides year-round sports training and competition for more than 38,000 children and adults with intellectual disabilities. Special Olympics North Carolina is one of the largest Special Olympics programs in the world.
The Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics is officially endorsed by the International Association of Chiefs of Police, the North Carolina Association of Chiefs of Police, the National Sheriff’s Association, the North Carolina Sheriff’s Association, the International Association of Campus Law Enforcement Administrators, the National Association of School Resource Officers, the NC Association of School Resource Officers, the NC Department of Justice and the North Carolina Department of Public Safety.
About Special Olympic North Carolina
Special Olympics North Carolina offers year-round sports training and competition for more than 38,000 children and adults with intellectual disabilities. These athletes inspire greatness through their success and provide motivation to the thousands of coaches, sports officials, local program committee members and event organizers involved in Special Olympics statewide. SONC offers Olympic-type competition in 19 sports on local and state levels. Visit Special Olympics North Carolina at www.specialolympicsnc.com. Engage with us on http://twitter.com/sonc_beafan; http://www.facebook.com/SpecialOlympicsNC and http://www.youtube.com/BeAFanSONC.