Whitfield County Staffers Hold Torch High For Special Olympics

Monday, May 20, 2019 - by Mitch Talley

Cheered on by hundreds of students at Varnell and Beaverdale elementary schools, 17 participants in the annual Whitfield County Sheriff’s Office Special Olympics Torch Run joined forces to raise funds for the statewide organization.

Runners from the Sheriff’s Office, Whitfield County Fire Department, and Department of Juvenile Justice (District 1) began their journey on the morning of May 15 from the Whitfield County Sheriff’s Office Training Center and Firing Range on Old Prater’s Mill Road, then passed through the student- and teacher-lined parking lots at the two elementary schools on their nearly 10-mile journey to the Murray County line.

Law enforcement officers from across the state participated in 11 legs of the 1,000-mile, two-week torch relay, which all converged at Emory University in Atlanta for the State Summer Games Opening Ceremony on the morning of May 18. Officers entered the Opening Ceremony with the Olympic Torch – the Flame of Hope. The Torch was passed to a Special Olympics athlete who lit the Olympic cauldron signifying “Let the games begin!” 

Nearly 3,000 State Summer Games athletes, coaches and unified partners from across Georgia  - cheered on by 2,800 volunteers and 500 family members - participated May 17-19 in aquatics, athletics (track and field), flag football, gymnastics, soccer, table tennis, tennis, volleyball, and long distance running/walking at Emory University, with medals and ribbons awarded throughout.
The Law Enforcement Torch Run is the largest annual fundraising event benefiting Special Olympics Georgia. This signature event plays a significant role in Special Olympics Georgia’s annual budget.

The event dates back to 1981 when Wichita, Kan., Police Chief Richard LaMunyon saw an urgent need to raise funds for and increase awareness of Special Olympics.

The idea for the Torch Run was to provide local law enforcement officers with an opportunity to volunteer with Special Olympics in the communities where the officers lived and worked. After three years of successful runs in Kansas, Chief LaMunyon presented his idea to the International Association of Chiefs of Police, which endorsed Special Olympics as its official charity through the Torch Run. Today, all 50 states and more than 40 countries have their own versions of the Torch Run.

In Georgia, the first Torch Run was organized in 1986 and has grown into the largest fundraising effort of Special Olympics Georgia. The Torch Run has continued to reach new records in fundraising efforts each year. Along with being the premier fundraising event for SOGA, it is also the most visible event in Special Olympics.

Lt. Wayne Mathis of the Whitfield County Sheriff’s Office is the only person in Georgia to have run in all 32 Torch Runs, and his history goes back even further as he took part three times before that in a Special Olympics event sponsored by Sam’s Club.

The mission of Special Olympics Georgia is to provide year-round sports training and athletic competition in a variety of Olympic-type sports for children and adults with intellectual disabilities, giving them continuing opportunities to develop physical fitness, demonstrate courage, experience joy, and participate in the sharing of gifts, skills, and friendship with their families, other Special Olympics athletes, and the community.


Whitfield Public Works Improves Drainage At Edwards Park Fields

Tennessee American Water To Host Splash Day At The Chattanooga Lookouts Day Game June 26

Local Court Celebrates 76th Graduation Of The Conasauga Circuit Drug Court


Playing in the dirt is expected on a softball or baseball field, but not necessarily for spectators, too. To help with the problem of red mud washing onto the concrete surrounding the baseball ... (click for more)

Tennessee American Water is sponsoring Splash Day at AT&T Field at the Lookouts on June 26. Over 1,500 campers from various area youth camps will be in attendance. “We are excited to ... (click for more)

The Conasauga Circuit Drug Court, which serves both Whitfield and Murray counties, will commemorate its 76th Graduation Ceremony. Judge Wilbanks, who will deliver the keynote address, invites ... (click for more)


Happenings

Whitfield Public Works Improves Drainage At Edwards Park Fields

Playing in the dirt is expected on a softball or baseball field, but not necessarily for spectators, too. To help with the problem of red mud washing onto the concrete surrounding the baseball fields at Edwards Park, Whitfield County Public Works crews installed a series of drains on four of the eight fields that allow rainwater to drain from the fields much quicker. As part ... (click for more)

Tennessee American Water To Host Splash Day At The Chattanooga Lookouts Day Game June 26

Tennessee American Water is sponsoring Splash Day at AT&T Field at the Lookouts on June 26. Over 1,500 campers from various area youth camps will be in attendance. “We are excited to be joining the Lookouts on this fun-filled day,” said Tennessee American Water President Darlene Williams. “We encourage residents to come out with their families and children and support our ... (click for more)

Breaking News

Storm Destroys Home In Falling Water Thursday Morning Trapping 6 Adults, 3 Children Inside

Strong storms rolled through Hamilton County Thursday morning destroying a mobile home in the Falling Water area. At 8:15 a.m., the residents made a 911 call reporting a tree had fallen on their mobile home and they were trapped inside. Dallas Bay Volunteer Fire Department responded to 728 Roberts Mills Road and reported a large tree on top of the mobile home. Firefighters ... (click for more)

Judge Gives Extra Time To Chattanooga Man Who Made Vulgar, Threatening Calls To U.S. Rep. Diane Black

Federal Judge Curtis Collier on Wednesday rejected an agreed sentence for a Chattanooga man who pleaded guilty to making vulgar, threatening calls to former U.S. Rep. Diane Black., who was in the courtroom and gave a statement. Judge Collier called it "a crime against all citizens," saying such threats could lead some people to forego running for public office. The judge said, ... (click for more)

Opinion

Thank You, Commissioners Smedley, Bankston, Fairbanks And Boyd

County Chairwoman Sabrena Smedley and Commissioners Chester Bankston, Randy Fairbanks, and Tim Boyd are all the right stuff that Republicans and conservatives are made of. It is a beautiful thing when our elected unite to do the right thing. We have some real leaders in this group. These county commissioners are representing the majority of property owners in Hamilton County, ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Yes, We Still Eat Dogs

As one who is richly blessed by the humor that arrives at my email address, a couple of years ago I started collecting some of the funny ones and that is how “The Saturday Funnies” began to appear on Chattanoogan.com. The Funnies are extremely popular and, throughout the week, I’ll often have too many because I get them by the dozens most days. The big search engines like Google, ... (click for more)