Wayne sheriff helping send athletes to Special Olympics

Wayne sheriff helping send athletes to Special Olympics

Image Credit: Dan Starcher

When Wayne County Sheriff Travis Hutchinson heard Jersey Mike's restaurants were donating 100% of sales recently during the company’s annual Day of Giving event to help athletes across the country attend the 2022 USA Special Olympics games in Orlando, Florida, he reached into his pockets and purchased lunch for his entire staff.

According to a Jersey Mike’s news release, the restaurant chain expects to donate approximately $10 million from the day's efforts, and Hutchinson knows every little bit from each of the company's 2,000 locations will help to make an Olympian's dream of competing in the Special Olympics come true this June.

Hutchinson, a Masonic Lodge member, is a longtime supporter of the Special Olympics, and his Jersey Mike's sandwich order is just the beginning of his fundraising efforts.

"The Wooster and Orrville lodges used to host a spaghetti dinner fundraiser and then host a supper for local athletes at Kean Elementary School," Hutchinson said.

He explained that due to the COVID-19 pandemic, they had to suspend those activities but hope to resume them in the future.

Not to be deterred from lending support to the games, Hutchinson will participate in the Law Enforcement Torch Run.

"The goal is to raise $40,000," Hutchinson said. "The Torch Run will begin June 20 and conclude at the Ohio Olympic games on June 24."

Known as the Guardians of the Flame, officers and Olympians carry the torch — the Flame of Hope — into the opening ceremonies of local Olympic competitions across the country.

According to www.letr.org, the organization is one of the most significant awareness and fundraising bodies for the Special Olympics.

In 2020 LETR did the following:

—Enlisted 58,905 torch runners.

—Served 9,815 Special Olympic athletes.

—Amassed 12,506 volunteers.

—Recruited 1,159 military runners.

Dan Starcher is a public communications specialist for the Wayne County government.

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