PALM BEACH COUNTY, Fla. – In about a week hundreds of police officers from all over South Florida will lace up their running shoes to spread awareness about the Special Olympics.
This year is retired officer Bob Mooney's 30th year running the three mile Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics course. Mooney had a son Joshua, who was a Special Olympics athlete. Joshua passed away a few years ago, but Mooney keeps running.
"It's in my heart," Bob Mooney explained. "I have to for my son. I have to continue as long as I possibly can."
Police from almost every major Palm Beach County jurisdiction participate in the run, including Bob's wife, Assistant West Palm Beach Police Chief Sarah Mooney.
"We run slow. It's not a race, Sarah Mooney said. "The idea it to stay together and draw attention to Special Olympics in a unified effort."
Each year the Mooney's run for Joshua and for all Special Olympics athletes, athletes like Melody McCauley.
"It's really exciting for me to see all those people. The police officers doing such amazing things for all of us," Melody McCauley said with a smile. "I usually sit in the back of the truck cheering on for the torch run. Go Torch Run! Go! Go! Go!"
And go, go, go is what the Mooney's plan to do, "Until I can't do it anymore," Bob Mooney said.
"You don't even realize that you're running," Sarah Mooney added. "There's so many people around you that are just so excited to be there."
The Palm Beach County leg of the Torch Run is Wednesday April 6, 2016. Runners stage at 9:00 a.m. the corner of Hypoluxo Road and US 1. The run begins at 9:30 a.m.
To help support Special Olympics law enforcement are also volunteering their time as celebrity waiters at Duffy's Sports Grill, Thursday March 31 from 5:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. at the following locations:
- Okeechobee and Jog Road in West Palm Beach
- PGA and US 1 in Palm Beach Gardens
- Boynton Beach Blvd. and Jog Road in Boynton Beach