BOSTON (CBS) — Officers from 100 police departments from around the state fired up their lights and sirens and got rolling Saturday to show their commitment to the Massachusetts Special Olympics.
This is the tenth year of the Torch Run Cruiser Convoy event, which shows support for the athletes from those in uniform–and even helps transport some of them to Harvard and Boston University.
“When you roll into the stadium and see the athletes and the looks on their faces, it’s the best reward anyone could have,” said Pittsfield Officer Sean Klink.
Officer Klink has a special connection to the games, because his daughter Olivia has Down Syndrome and competes. She was among the 2,000 competitors showing their stuff–and loving it.
Sure, medals are awarded, but this is about so much more.
“I’ve been doing this job for a long time, and I woke up this morning emotional,” said volunteer Megan Hoffman, Director of Community Development at Special Olympics Massachusetts.
“It’s unconditional love from the athletes, it’s amazing,” said Police Capt. James DiGianvittorio of the Middleton Police Department. “We did a high-five gauntlet last night, my hand was sore but afterwards it was amazing.”
There are no age restrictions–the youngest competitor is 8, and the oldest is 93.
There are also no words to really describe what the athletes, their families, and the volunteers get out of it.
“This is by far one of the most rewarding things I’ve done in my career, and really rewarding as a father,” Officer Klink said.
Police organizations across Massachusetts have raised more than $550,000 to support the games this year.