Roanoke Valley residents will have the chance to show how strong they are this spring while helping a good cause.
Roanoke Rapids Police Department Det. Jeff Davis, who also is the local coordinator for the Law Enforcement Torch Run for the North Carolina Special Olympics, said law enforcement organizations throughout the State have kicked off their campaigns.
Here in the Valley, the campaign has already started with T-shirts and hats, but a big fundraiser is planned for early May which will give local residents a true test of strength.
The event, “Tug-A-Load,” will enable teams of five participants to pull a 37,000-pound vehicle, dubbed Mine Resistant Ambush Proof, across a 25-foot span while being timed. Fastest time wins, but there is a three-minute time limit, Davis said.
The MRAP is being donated for use during the event by RRPD, and according to Police Chief Tommy Hathaway, it is a rescue and recovery vehicle available through his department to law enforcement throughout the area. He added it was obtained at no cost to city taxpayers.
Davis said he thought the MRAP was a good choice for a fundraiser after hearing of similar events throughout the state.
“Raleigh has a plane pull where teams pull a Lear jet,” Davis said. “That weighs about 32,000 pounds.”
Davis said Tammy Crowley-Deloatch, owner of New Day Fitness, had expressed interest in doing a fundraiser for Special Olympics, and the idea for a strength contest was born.
“She’s a big supporter of Special Olympics and wanted to do something with us,” Davis explained. “So we came up with the idea of teams pulling the MRAP.”
The event will be at 10 a.m. May 3 at New Day Fitness with teams paying a $250 registration fee to participate. Those proceeds will go to North Carolina Special Olympics, Davis said, and Deloatch has also pledged the day’s gym proceeds to the organization.
Davis added registration forms will be available soon at the New Day website — www.newda yfitness.com.
On May 10, the Roanoke Rapids Skyhawks Running and Adventure Club will sponsor an event for the Special Olympics — a 5K run starting at Lake Park in Roanoke Rapids, down the Canal Trail to the Roanoke Canal Museum, then back to Lake Park.
Events such as these — as well as the T-shirt and hat donation drives, where T-shirts or hats can be had for $15 or an athletic tech shirt for a donation of $25 — are all aimed at raising money for North Carolina Special Olympics, Davis said, with 84 cents of every dollar raised going to training, travel expenses and other costs associated with Special Olympics.
Davis added the goal this year locally is $6,000, with more than $1,600 already raised.
To get a T-shirt, hat or to make a donation, visit the Roanoke Rapids Police Department, 1040 Roanoke Ave. in Roanoke Rapids. For more information on North Carolina Special Olympics, visit www.sonc.net.