Categorized | Sports, Volunteering

Troy Barboza Torch Run coming to Keaau Saturday

Photography by Dave Corrigan/Big Island Video News

On Saturday morning, April 11, officers of the Hawaii County Police Department and supporters of Special Olympics Hawai’i carried the “Flame of Hope” through the streets of Kona in an effort to raise awareness and funds for the athletes of Special Olympics. This event, known as the “Troy Barboza Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics,” is a tradition in the law enforcement community around the world.

The Troy Barboza Law Enforcement Torch Run is a coordinated project of the Hawai’i Police Department and Special Olympics Hawai’i. The Torch Run was created in 1981 by Chief Richard Lamunyon of Wichita, Kansas, who, along with a couple of deputies, ran the first torch run for Special Olympics. The torch is now carried by law enforcement officers — referred to as “Guardians of the Flame” — in every state and in more than 40 other countries. This International Torch Run, which lost money in 1981, raised more than $32 million world wide in 2008. In Hawai’i, the torch run is named after fallen Honolulu Police Officer Troy Barboza, who volunteered as a Special Olympics coach and participated in the first Torch Run in Hawai’i.

On Saturday, April 18, the officers and supporters will be in Kea’au for the East Hawai’i Torch Run. Participants will begin at 8:30 a.m. at the Kea’au police station. The “Flame of Hope” will be carried to the Kea’au High School track via Kekula Street. Its arrival at the track will signify the start of the Special Olympics track and field games scheduled for that morning.

If you would like to participate or make a donation in East Hawai’i, please call Lieutenant Mitchell Kanehailua or Elena Kawazoe at 961-2314, or Lieutenant Gregory Esteban at 961-2213.

Persons who make donations of $20 or more will receive a free commemorative 2009 Troy Barboza/First Hawaiian Bank Law Enforcement Torch Run T-shirt or tank top. (A $25 donation entitles the donor to a long-sleeved shirt or one in XXXL size).

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