By Kayla Evans
For the Opelika Observer

The local law enforcement will be having their annual fundraiser to support the Alabama Special Olympics on April 9.

From 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., the Opelika Police Department will be fundraising at the Tiger Town Kroger and the Auburn Police Department will be at the Kroger on Dean Road. The Lee County Sherriff’s Department will also be helping out. The kicker of this event — when you head up to Kroger to shop, you’ll see officers on the roof.

Other officers will be outside the entrance with Special Olympics athletes to accept donations.

“The purpose of the fundraiser is to raise awareness for Special Olympics, especially for the Special Olympics in Lee County which is where all of the dollars raised right here in our program,” said Elizabeth Kauffman, Lee County Special Olympics Director. “It is also to raise awareness that our local law enforcement supports Special Olympics with their law enforcement torch run.”

Social distancing and masks will be required at the event. CDC guidelines will be mandated and enforced in order to attend.

In the past without COVID, the law enforcement races the Special Olympics torch into the state game. From Birmingham to Montgomery, the law enforcement runs different lengths of the race and at the state games in Troy, Kauffman said.

“That’s always really special and fun,” Kauffman said. “It’s exciting to have that support from them.”

The Lee County Special Olympics chapter supports over 300 athletes. Most of the athletes are local, but some live in Macon, Russell and Tallapoosa counties.

“In total, we have our 300 athletes that participate in 10 different sports,” Kauffman said. “We have a variety of practices throughout the season, different scrimmages that we go to and then we’ve got our local games, bowling tournament and track meets that normally happen in the spring. We have our state tournaments that happen throughout the season as well and we always end in state games.”

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