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Rick Scott, Governor
Florida Department of Corrections, Secretary Michael D. Crews

Florida Department of Corrections
Timothy H. Cannon, Interim Secretary


Press Release
July 1, 2009
For More Information
Contact: Public Affairs Office
(850) 488-0420

A ‘threepeat’ of generosity:
Department of Corrections earns "Cal Henderson Award" for third consecutive year

award ceremony
Photo is of Secretary McNeil (in red cap at podium) along with other dignitaries and Special Olympics athletes on the steps of the Capitol in April 2009 after leading the Law Enforcement Torch Run to the Capitol.

The Florida Department of Corrections has been selected the 2009 recipient of the "Cal Henderson Award" recognizing the Department as the top fundraising statewide agency for the 26th Annual Florida Law Enforcement Torch Run. This is the third consecutive year the Department has received this honor from Special Olympics Florida. Department of Corrections employees have consistently and generously supported the Law Enforcement Torch Run/Special Olympics throughout the years, raising close to $130,000 this year, and an equal amount last year. The Department’s statewide barbecues alone raised $57,900 for this worthwhile cause, and nearly every correctional institution and probation and parole circuit participated.

"I am pleased that we’ve been honored with this award for our staff’s generosity and contributions to community again, but I can’t say I’m surprised. Our 28,000 employees are involved in helping their communities and neighbors in thousands of ways every day, from mentoring in schools to volunteering in animal shelters to raising money for worthwhile causes like Special Olympics," said Secretary Walter McNeil.

Carl Ferguson, Senior Vice President/Development of Special Olympics Florida, said the following in his letter informing Secretary McNeil of this honor for his agency.

"Through the power of sport, Special Olympics transforms the lives of people with intellectual disabilities and also fosters a community of acceptance and inclusion...all while having fun. The men and women of the Department of Corrections have recognized that power, and have supported the movement with an enthusiasm not easily matched. We are truly grateful."

The award will be presented in Orlando on Saturday, July 18, 2009, and accepted on behalf of the Department by DC employee Pat Finan, who was instrumental in organizing the Department’s statewide events and was selected as Florida’s representative for all law enforcement personnel to participate in the final leg of the Law Enforcement Torch Run for the 2009 Special Olympics World Winter Games in Boise, Idaho last year.

The Cal Henderson award is named for a former sheriff of Hillsborough county who was a strong supporter of Special Olympics and who spearheaded the Law Enforcement Torch Run in Florida.

For more information, contact Gretl Plessinger in the Public Affairs office at (850) 488-0420.