By Lt. Angelo Gonzalez, AA/PIO, MCSP
Mule Creek State Prison (MSCP) retains the honor of being CDCR’s 2016 top fundraising institution – raising over $30,000 for the Special Olympics of Northern California.
Yearly fundraising for the Special Olympics is a team effort at the prison. Two years ago, MCSP organized its first Torch Run with only 12 participants. The Torch Run has expanded in partnership with the Ione Police Department, Ione Fire Department, Cal Fire and the Amador County Sheriff’s Office. In 2016, the 5K route from MCSP to downtown Ione has grown to over 100 participants.
“What is most inspiring to see is the local community get involved in the Special Olympics. Last year, local businesses donated over $10,000 to benefit the Special Olympics of Northern California. We could not be CDCR’s top fundraising institution without local business supporters,” said Warden Joe Lizarraga.
The commitment at MCSP goes beyond fundraising. At every opportunity MCSP staff are eager to represent the institution. Last year, Associate Warden Robert Roy ran the final leg from California State University, Sacramento, to the State Capital along with other law enforcement agencies.
“This year, I am determined to do more for the athletes; carrying the torch during the final leg and putting medals on athletes is truly an honor and privilege,” said Associate Warden Roy.
The MCSP’s partnership goes beyond staff and the local community. Inmates have also taken great pride in the Special Olympics.
Whether through food sales or photo projects inmates have gotten involved.
Inmate Rosales stated, “We are always eager to give back to the community, but giving to the athletes of the Special Olympics, such as Karissa, is something more meaningful.”
In the spirit of their own Torch Run, MCSP inmates participate in the annual Run for Change and the Father’s Day Run. Over the last two years, MCSP inmates have raised $20,000 for the Northern California Special Olympics.
On Jan. 25, 2017, at the Northern California Special Olympics Kick-Off Conference held in Livermore, MCSP received an award for being the top fundraising institution for CDCR. Since 2014, Mule Creek has raised $70,000 for the Northern California Special Olympics.
Read more about CDCR’s involvement in Special Olympics, http://www.insidecdcr.ca.gov/?s=special+olympics