Published: Feb 19, 2013 05:45 PM
Modified: Feb 19, 2013 05:39 PM
MORRISVILLE - Four years ago, the Morrisville Police Department raised $250 for the Special Olympics of North Carolina. Since then, the department has far exceeded that amount and has become one of the nonprofits top 40 law enforcement money-raisers.
Last year, Morrisville police raised more than $8,300, said Capt. Charles Wilson.
As one of the top fundraisers, the Morrisville Police Department will be listed on the back of the nonprofits Torch Run T-shirt. Proceeds from the sale of the shirts go to the Special Olympics.
This is the first time the Morrisville department has made it onto the shirt, Wilson said.
Now our goal is to not just remain on the T-shirt but move up on the list, he said.
Currently, Morrisville police rank 33rd in the amount of money raised. They are ahead of the Fuquay-Varina Police Department, which is ranked 37th, and the Apex Police Department, which holds the 38th spot.
Cary police is the only southwestern Wake County agency to break the top 20. The department is ranked 17th, said Keith Fishburne, president of the Special Olympics of North Carolina.
Charlotte-Mecklenburg holds the top spot which isnt surprising considering the size of the police department, Fishburne said.
When you see departments like Apex and Morrisville on there, that says a lot about their commitment, he said.
In 2012, law enforcement agencies across the state raised $1.1 million for Special Olympics of North Carolina, a boon to the groups $6 million budget.
Morrisville police set a goal two years ago to get their name on the Special Olympics T-shirt. The department created a committee to come up with ideas for donation drives.
Over the years, town police officers have stood in front of businesses and asked patrons for donations.
The department has also partnered with area businesses and sells the Torch Run T-shirts to raise money.
Every summer, more than 2,500 law enforcement officials across North Carolina participate in the Torch Run along a 2,000-mile course to Raleigh, where the Special Olympics Summer Games take place.
The first Torch Run was in 1981 in Kansas, and the event came to North Carolina in 1987. It was created to give law enforcement a way to participate and raise awareness for the Special Olympics.
It shows our commitment to the community, Wilson said. You have athletes that dont possess the physical abilities we have. This gives them the opportunity for them to display their talents without worrying about the costs of uniforms and travel.
Wilson participated in last summers run, and it earned him a high-profile gig. Wilson is featured in this years Torch Run poster, which is sent out to more than 200 law enforcement agencies in the state.