Tip-A-Cop, torch run, Celebrate Clay give county’s Special Olympic team fast start to state games

By Don Coble Managing Editor
Posted 4/24/19

CLAY COUNTY – You weren’t seeing things if you saw Clay County Sheriff Darryl Daniels refilling water glasses Tuesday at the LongHorn Steakhouse on Fleming Island.

The sheriff’s department …

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Tip-A-Cop, torch run, Celebrate Clay give county’s Special Olympic team fast start to state games

Posted

CLAY COUNTY – You weren’t seeing things if you saw Clay County Sheriff Darryl Daniels refilling water glasses Tuesday at the LongHorn Steakhouse on Fleming Island.

The sheriff’s department spent last week working with Special Olympics of Florida – Clay County in preparation of next month’s statewide games at Walt Disney World.

It started last Monday when a group of county athletes joined with the sheriff’s department to kick off a week of events.

On Tuesday, deputies and athletes greeted customers at the door, bused tables, delivered food and, refilled water glasses.

Tip-A-Cop lasted through Thursday with a goal of raising about $15,000 for the state games May 17-19.

“You were greeted by some of these incredible athletes, along with us, members of the Clay County Sheriff’s Office,” said sheriff’s spokesman Chris Padgett. “We wanted everyone to meet these wonderful athletes.”

Included in Monday’s formal kickoff and Tuesday at LongHorn was cyclist Dianne McKittrick. Clay County’s contingent got a huge boost early Tuesday when she was selected as the Peggy Bryan Volunteer of the Year by the Paul E. and Klare N. Reinhold Foundation as part of their annual Celebrate Clay awards breakfast. McKittrick is a cyclist who spent a month working at Publix and Walmart on Fleming Island to raise more than $3,000 for Special Olympics.

The Reinhold Foundation’s award was worth $5,000.

The kickoff ended Friday morning with a torch run that started at Moosehaven and ended at the Publix parking lot on Blanding Blvd.

Clay County’s Special Olympic team as 946 individual athletes and another 196 who are part of team sports. The Clay team will compete in cycling, track and field, boxing, volleyball and soccer at Disney’s Wide World of Sports.

Support for Special Olympics will continue long after the torch run, with members of the Clay County Sheriff’s Office accompanying the athletes at the state games.

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