Event raises $4,500 for Special Olympics athletes
By Lt. Christene Zoucha, AA/Public Information Officer
Deuel Vocational Institution
Deuel Vocational Institution (DVI) recently hosted an obstacle course run to raise money for Special Olympics of Northern California.
DVI’s inaugural Gladiator 5K Obstacle Course drew employees, family and friends to compete, raising $4,500 for the charitable organization as part of the Law Enforcement Torch Run (LETR).
Approximately 100 participated in the walk/run obstacle challenge with dozens of employee volunteers and spectators. DVI Warden Jerome Price was there to cheer them through to the finish line.
About three dozen employees volunteered their time to help set up the 5k course which included wall climb, low crawl, burpee stations, hay bale hurdles and a hill slide.
Chief Deputy Warden Kathryn Kesterson, other prison managers and Tracy Police Department officers were among those who dived into the course.
The event was the creation of Sgt. S. Harris and Lt. H. Shamoeil.
“The 5k challenge and proceeds raised for Special Olympics was a culmination of the hard work, dedication and commitment of the organization committee, volunteers, donations and participants,” said Warden Price. “I am proud to see the spirit of giving from the DVI staff, displayed today through the accomplishment of the 5k course run.”
Valley First Credit Union, Take Shape for Life, Washington National Insurance Company of California, AFLAC, New York Life, Crescent Work & Outdoor, Aspen Financial & Insurance Company, Pacific Bay Mortgage and Prison Industry Authority (PIA) sponsored information tables and donated raffle items for the post-run event. All of the proceeds went to the Special Olympics of Northern California.
Correctional Peace Officers Association (DVI Chapter) and the Tracy Police Officers Association donated items for the post-run barbecue for all to enjoy after completing the challenge. A number of DVI administrators helped at the grill and contributed food and supplies.
Approximately 35 volunteers included CRT members from DVI and California Health Care Facility, office technicians, officers, PIA employees, sergeants, lieutenants and captains.
PIA employees and inmates assigned to the PIA from DVI’s minimum security facility volunteered their time getting the event ready by mowing, tilling the fields, grading the dirt roads around the fields and putting in long hours to get the event ready for the participants. The land is normally used by PIA to grow silage for their dairy cows. The obstacle course and event used the dirt roads surrounding the field.
This event is one of many fundraising activities supporting the LETR, the largest year-round fund-raising vehicle benefiting Special Olympics.
The annual intrastate relay and its various fundraising projects, conducted by officers representing every branch of law enforcement, have a mission of partnering with our communities, to support Special Olympics programs through raising funds and public awareness, while enhancing the quality of life of the athletes. LETR has raised more than $6 million since its inception in 1998.