January 14, 2009
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Contact: Public Affairs Office
Tallahassee -- Florida Department of Corrections employee Pat Finan has been selected as the Florida representative to participate in the Law Enforcement Torch Run Final Leg for the 2009 Special Olympics World Winter Games in Boise, Idaho.
“When I was assigned to coordinate the department’s efforts over two years ago I thought this was just another task,” said Finan. “I never anticipated the positive impact this would have on my life.”
As the agency director for the Department of Corrections, Finan has been instrumental in the Department’s contribution to the Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics Florida for the past several years. The Department of Corrections, which has been the winner of the Sheriff Cal Henderson Agency of the Year award two years running, has been the biggest contributor during that time among all law enforcement agencies in Florida, raising $130,000 in 2008 and $75,000 the year before. Prior to Finan’s involvement, the Department raised approximately $16,000 annually with an average of 100 runners participating statewide. This year the DC had 1,229 runners participating. Finan’s trip is being financed by the Special Olympics.
“Pat certainly earned the privilege of representing not just our Department of Corrections but all Florida law enforcement agencies in the Winter Special Olympics in Boise,” said Secretary McNeil. “He’s contributed countless hours to organizing this effort, resulting in thousands of dollars donated to this deserving campaign by our generous employees.”
The Law Enforcement Torch Run Final Leg for the 2009 Special Olympics World Winter Games is a 10-day event from January 29, 2009 thru February 7, 2009. The Final Leg is comprised of an international team of 120 members, which includes 82 law enforcement runners, 10 Special Olympics athletes and 28 support personnel, who will serve as “Guardians of the Flame” as they welcome and receive the “Flame of Hope” in Idaho.
On February 7, 2008, the Final Leg Team will safely deliver the “Flame of Hope” to the 2009 Special Olympics World Winter Games Opening Ceremony in Boise, Idaho. The “Flame of Hope” for the 2009 Special Olympics World Winter Games was lit in Athens, Greece, formally launching the Global Law Enforcement Torch Run. According to Olympic tradition, the torch was lit by the sun’s rays before embarking on a three-month journey around the world to Boise, Idaho. The “Flame of Hope” will travel to 10 cities across five continents, honoring the spirit of the Special Olympics global movement and delivering a message of hope to communities where people with intellectual disabilities continue to fight for acceptance and a chance to excel without barriers. For more information about the World Games or the Special Olympics, go to http://www.2009worldgames.org/programs-events /law-enforcement-torch-run or http://www.specialolympicsflorida.org/index.php.
Finan (waving hat) and other corrections and law enforcement officers
during a Special Olympics event in Florida in 2008.