Cullman’s 7th Annual Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics

Sharon Schuler Kreps
Special Olympics is one of my passions. It’s one of the things I love, it’s one of the things I enjoy doing.”
Lt. Rex Sorrow


CULLMAN – The 2016 Cullman Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics was held on Tuesday morning, May 3. Members from area law enforcement agencies gathered on the steps of the Cullman County Courthouse and held a torch lighting ceremony. Afterwards, they ran 2 miles, together as a group, to Oliver Woodard Stadium at Cullman High School. Once the officers and supporters arrived at the stadium, they passed the torch to one of the athletes and then circled the track with the Olympians, which completed the official opening to the day’s Special Olympics. 

“Today is our Torch Run,” said Cullman County Sheriff Matt Gentry. “It’s the Law Enforcement Run that raises awareness and money for Special Olympics. This is the local run for Cullman County. We will have a state run that will come through on the 19th of this month. The State Run will go from one end of the state to the other end; they will have different legs of it.”

“Between us (Sheriff’s Office), the City (Cullman Police Department) and any other law enforcement agency, we typically have between 30 and 40 runners; there could be more depending on who all shows up. We invite everyone from the City, the County, Hanceville and whoever else wants to participate. We are ready to lead the pack,” he smiled.  

Part of the Torch Run’s service projects to benefit the Special Olympics is the sale of Torch Run T-shirts, but that’s not the only thing they have done to acquire funds. The group also hosts an annual “Cops on Top” event in which local law enforcement officers collect donations just outside the doors of Wal-Mart. This year’s Cops on Top was held on April 29-30. The CPD, who manned the north Wal-Mart, raised $8,506; the CCSO, manning the south Wal-Mart, raised $10,912, for a grand total of $19,418!

“Special Olympics is one of my passions,” said CCSO Lt. Rex Sorrow. “It’s one of the things I love, it’s one of the things I enjoy doing. That’s why I put so much effort into it. The Sheriff doesn’t have to gouge me; he just has to ask me if I want to do it again this year or the next year,” he grinned.

“We had a proclamation signing last week and the two athletes that were chosen from the City and County Schools were Taylor Auston, who is a senior at the Child Development Center and Stormi Brock, who is a senior at Cullman High School,” he explained. “Taylor represents the County Schools and Stormi represents the City Schools. They will be the athletes that will take the torch from us when we arrive at the stadium.”

“First of all, I want to thank Rex because he has been involved with this for so many years,” said Cullman Mayor Max Townson. “You know, there is one thing the City does, and that’s work together with the County. I respect our policemen and all law enforcement and rapid responders/fire departments. I hope that you have a successful run. The Special Olympians have a wonderful time at the football field. If you get a chance, go out there and talk to them because they love it. Thank you so much and have a great run.”

For more information about Cullman’s Torch Run for Special Olympics, visit For the state run, visit

To see the full photo gallery, visit