WEST GREENWICH, R.I. (WPRI) — Local law enforcement and truckers teamed up on Sunday to benefit Special Olympics Rhode Island and the athletes it supports.
Over fifty trucks took off from West Greenwich in a convoy at 9:00 a.m from Travel Centers of America in West Greenwich, traveling along Routes 95, 146, and 295, before returning to West Greenwich at 11:00 a.m.
As the journey ended, Special Olympics athletes and community members greeted the drivers in celebration of the trip that benefited over 4,000 athletes throughout the state.
“It’s a very important fundraiser us. As you can well imagine the last twenty months have been very difficult with COVID, but this is an opportunity for us to raise some great money for our athletes and for our programs,” Special Olympics Rhode Island CEO Dennis DeJesus said.
“They’re giving up their Sunday morning to be here, which is truly amazing, and we appreciate the support, and it’s all about acceptance, inclusion, and respect for our athletes. And they’re demonstrating that today by their commitment to being here in support of our athletes.
“Our law enforcement people are extremely important to our success with Special Olympics. They’re with us year round. Our torch run people made up of police, fire, and correctional officers, raise over, not an exaggeration, say a quarter of a million dollars every year.”
“I’m just grateful, so grateful today to come here. Many of our events throughout the year have canceled and we’ve been unable to run a lot of our fundraisers.”
The event is happening across 15 states and in 6 Canadian provinces in 2021, and has united more than 25,000 truckers who have traveled thousands of miles for the cause.