Local law enforcement officers raising funds for Special Olympics; catch them Saturday at south Wal-Mart

W.C. Mann

Cullman County Sheriff’s Office Capt. Mark Persall and Lt. Rex Sorrow


CULLMAN – This weekend, the Cullman County Sheriff’s Office (CCSO) and Cullman Police Department (CPD) are out in force, for a worthy cause.  Deputies and officers were at the south Cullman Wal-Mart Friday and will be again tomorrow, Saturday, taking donations to help support Cullman’s Special Olympians, and to provide free services to Olympians and their families at the local meet scheduled for April 21 in Cullman.

“It’s our fundraiser for local special needs children who participate in the Special Olympics,” said Sheriff Matt Gentry.  “You’re going to see deputies out there, and you’re going to see volunteers.  We’ll have bands at the south Wal-Mart playing music.  Lt. (Rex) Sorrow (who heads up the program) is very passionate about Special Olympics and helping them in those events and in the schools, to help them meet their goals.  The deputies get very involved; it’s a great thing for the deputies and the community.”

The Tribune caught up with Sorrow at the south Wal-Mart, and he shared:

“We have CPD and deputies here, and a lot of volunteers from our Citizens’ Academy.  We do this every year to raise funds for our special needs students, who’ll be having their track and field games on April 21 at Woodard Stadium.  They normally have to go and find people who’ll sponsor their T-shirts, meals and different things like that.  I told Bridget Keith, who’s over the Cullman County part of the Special Olympics, ‘Look, y’all don’t have to do that anymore.  We’re going to raise enough money to pay for your T-shirts, pay for your medals and food.  We’re going to come out and cook hot dogs and hamburgers, and we’re going to let not only the kids but the parents also eat, and it’s going to be free.’  One-hundred percent of this goes toward that.”

This year’s event is a little different from the past, with live entertainment at Wal-Mart that includes local school bands, FFA string bands, bluegrass and gospel performers.  The CCSO is even giving awards for the best act in each of those categories.  The CCSO also has its mobile command center and several department vehicles on-site, along with a reproduction of the Mayberry Sheriff’s patrol car from “The Andy Griffith Show.”

The public is encouraged to come out, enjoy live entertainment, and drop a little something in the buckets of officers and deputies who will be at store entrances Saturday.

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