More Torch Run

I used the police camera to take photos at Rotary last Thursday and found some more pix of the torch run on the camera (that Lt. Watkins took).

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Here is the torch we carry. Well, it’s the torch that we try to get someone else to carry. It’s heavy when you’re running with it. So we share the responsibility, though Capt. Prichard seemed to have it a lot.

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Pretty good form. Must be early in the run.

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Where are you goin’, Chappy?

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Getting close to the end and that last, long, killer hill.

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Show offs out front. (Yes, I’m jealous.)

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Okay, Buck! Slow down; that hill’s comin’ up.

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Story of my life: push, push, push to the finish.

It wasn’t a race; it was a course. 3.4 miles, start to finish. Show up to run and be sure you finish. That’s pretty much what was on my mind the week before and the day of the run. In fact, that’s on my mind most days… “But I do not account my life of any value nor as precious to myself, if only I may finish my course and the ministry that I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of the grace of God.” (Acts 20:24)

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Special Olympics Torch Run 2007

I ran in the Special Olympics Torch Run again this year. I’ve been doing this since becoming a Police Chaplain in 2004 so this marks my third run. Every year, I vow to get in better shape so the next year’s run is easy. I’m nearly 52 now and easily in the worst shape of my life. I was on the way to being in better shape last Fall when I got sick for three months. That’ll nip your training in the bud. Anyway, I gutted it out and I’ve got the pounding headache to prove it. I wasn’t the only one going on will power either; five others pushed themselves with me to do the 3.4 mile run across the city. Actually Capt. Prichard wasn’t pushing himself. He was ready to run back to the department. I’m proud of all of them though for wanting to represent their department and the city of Graham in the effort to run the torch across the state, marking the commencement of the North Carolina Special Olympics.

Each year, we take the torch at the city limits from the Burlington PD runners. We hand it off at the other side of the city to the Sheriff’s Department runners. Sadly, that did not happen this year. The Sheriff’s Department decided they are going to hold their own torch run. As a result, the torch did not get run across the state this year since there was a break in the chain in Alamance County. We had to drive the torch from Graham to Chapel Hill. My hope is that next year we have enough Graham police to continue the torch across Alamance County to Orange County.

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Here are all of the participants except for Lt. Watkins who took the photo. L to R: Joe Luna (EMS), Officer Chris Denny, Detective Wenona Dunnagan (escort), Capt. Jeff Prichard, Sgt. Duane Flood, Officer Phillip Thornton, Chaplain Mark Ryman, Detective Scott Sheldon (escort), and not pictured, Lt. Tony Watkins (escort)

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Just the runners

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Come on, Chris!

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Oh, boy.

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Memorial Day

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Not to be confused with Veterans’ Day—when we remember our still-living veterans as well as those who have died, Memorial Day is for remembering those veterans who fell in battle. “These honored dead” were originally remembered on Decoration Day when the nation remembered those who had fallen in the Civil War by decorating their graves with flowers. Though Memorial Day, as Decoration Day came to be called, was celebrated by communities nationwide for more than a century, it was not until 1971 that Congress declared the observance a national holiday, officially naming it Memorial Day.

When I was a boy, we had a Memorial Day parade in Springfield, Ohio. It was a big deal. Businesses closed and a huge parade went through town and ending at Ferncliff Cemetery. It seemed like the entire city came out for that parade. Afterwards, families gathered for cookouts.

Here in Graham there will be no Memorial Day parade. They do have a Confederate Memorial Day on May 10th when a few folks come out for an observance around the town’s statue to Confederate soldiers.

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The monument here in Graham is a copy of the one at the Spotsylvania Confederate Cemetery in Virginia.

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In searching for a photo of the parade in my hometown (of which there is a dearth), I found this photo of my nephew, Specialist Ryan Hunger, Grand Marshall of the Tremont City, Ohio, Memorial Day Parade. He is in the Army National Guard and headed back to Iraq soon.

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Springfield News-Sun

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You Must Be Born Again

Last Sunday I mentioned the need to be born again in order to be a child of God…that although you are God’s creation, you are not by default God’s offspring. Many people are surprised by this, as was Nicodemus. Jesus told him not to be amazed at his insistent teaching of the need to be born again to an eternal family.

This is pretty standard fare in churches. So I was delighted to hear the following day that a four-year old in the church had asked her mother Sunday afternoon, Is Pastor Mark right that I have to be born again to be God’s child? Her parents then took the opportunity to share with her about something profound.

Do not for a minute think that children are not listening or that they don’t get anything out of the sermon.

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Cop on Top Total

The total for the “Cop on Top” event was $6,784.96! Add that to the $2,483.66 raised through the raffle, the pancake breakfast, and outright donations, and you’ve got a total of $9,268.62 raised by the Graham PD for Special Olympics in NC.

The winners of the raffle were first prize: Angie Gantt, a teacher at Graham High School, second prize: Mike Melvin from the Graham Fire Department, third prize: Kevin Pickard, also from the fire department, and fourth prize: Joey England, an intern at the PD.

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Cop on Top for Special Olympics Day 2

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When I left things at around 2pm, we had received over $5,000 in donations for Special Olympics of North Carolina so far over the 2-day event. The national chairman for Special Olympics stated that if we kept up that pace, we would set a new national record for giving in a 2-day period. Here are some more photos.

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Travoris (T-Bone) with the City Manager, Chris Rollins…

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an Explorer…

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and Cpl. Hall.

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Another fine group of Special Olympians joined us today.

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It was hot work…

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but those guys on the roof kept calling them in.

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Have air horn, will travel.

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As I mentioned yesterday, even the McDonalds crew (including their manager) wore Special Olympics t-shirts to work these two days. The crew was great and really got into the spirit of the event.

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T-Bone raked in the green!

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This nice woman emptied her purse of change on the way in to McDonalds and after she came out went to her car and removed her ashtray that was filled with change and came back to dump it into T-Bone’s bucket too!

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Yes, son, you too can grow up to be a Graham Police officer.

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Explorers directing traffic…

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and clowning around.

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Speaking of clowning around…

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Uhmmm. I’m thinking of a Big Mac.

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All of that change adds up to…

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Mike from Details Cleaning stopped by to hang out for awhile. Details cleans the PD and gave away a car detailing prize for the Special Olympics raffle. Thanks for all you do for us, Mike!

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Even the little ones got into the spirit of giving.

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You can find some cute girls at the Graham McDonalds.

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Last I heard there had been over $7,000 raised in this building sit. That is a new national record for Special Olympics “Cop on Top” events. Thanks, Graham!

Add that $7K to the almost $3K the Graham PD had already raised and that an officer or two will be on hand with buckets at Lucky Bamboo this Sunday after Church and you can see that we’ll be well over $10,000 in collections for Special Olympics of North Carolina. Wow! Great job, Duane—and everyone!

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Cop on Top for Special Olympics Day 1

Today and tomorrow, the Graham Police Department is doing “Cop on Top”—an officer is on top of the building for two days (well, 36 hours straight, 6am Thursday to Midnight Friday) to raise public attention and funds for Special Olympics in North Carolina. The goal is to raise $8,000. About $3,000 has already been raised by selling raffle tickets and pancakes and through outright offerings. So we need to collect $5,000+ in these two days on top of McDonalds.

The event started a few hours ago. Here are some pix of the event. Click the pix below for a larger view.

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All of the McDonalds employees wore Special Olympics Torch Run t-shirts. Police from departments all across NC will run join the Graham PD in running the SO torch across the state on May 30th. Come out at 9am to the top of the hill on Harden Street coming into Graham and see us wheeze!

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Sergeant Shirley trying to figure out how to get more traffic into McDs.

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At’a boy!

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That’s why he’s a Sergeant.

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Sergeant Flood “on top.”

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That’s what it’s all about!

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Cpl Dunnagan and an Explorer

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I wonder who’s understudy this guy is…

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Lt McG cheesin’ with an Explorer

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Catching change at the drive through

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Sideshow Barker on top of McDs

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That’s I-85 in the background

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Sgt Flood—event organizer

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Looking north on Main Street

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Officer Cole collecting the “toll”

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LT Watkins and a hard working Explorer

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Nobody gets by Kristy

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Where Sgt Flood is sleeping tonight

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That’s Lowes Foods in the background

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Oh, boy.

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Special Olympian, Harrison, collected lots of cash!

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Well, that does it for today. A final tally has not been done but the cash (not the coinage) has been counted and over $3,000 was collected today. If that much can be accomplished tomorrow, we’ll be well over the goal!
Sleep tight, Sgt. Flood; you’ve got another big day
ahead of you tomorrow.

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The Prayer of a Child

Well, we got Susan’s (my wife) mother moved from Ohio to here in North Carolina. A friend came to help me and brought two of his sons to help move her into the home. An aid took my mother-in-law, Mary, to her room in a wheelchair without the feet attachments on the chair. Mary is an amputee and could not hold her left leg up, thus it kept dragging back under the chair. The third time Susan brought her leg back forward the prosthesis had come loose, so Susan just picked it up and carried it to her room. This greatly impressed the two boys.

So last night in his prayers, the youngest lad prayed for his own grandmother who is going to UNC hospital today for some treatment or test. He added after the “amen”… “Oh yeah, God, and don’t let the doctors cut off grandma’s legs.”

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Happy Mother’s Day

I guess it’s appropriate that we’re going to Ohio today to bring my mother-in-law to North Carolina…to live. Thanks to Milford who loaned us his trailer, and Steve, who fixed the ground wire in my truck’s connections, we’re ready to roll (except that I’m still so whooped from cutting the grass yesterday…sometimes it just saps you) and not gettng enough sleep last night. Anyway, God willing, we’ll make it up there after worship this morning and pack her up tomorrow and move her here Tuesday. Susan and Mary (her mom) are flying back while I drive the load.

Susan and I will be staying with my Mom tonight and tomorrow night. So I’ll get to see my mom on Mother’s Day. It’s been awhile. She should have received by now her gift of some hand-tossed pie plates (yes, they’re blue—her favorite) made by a seminary professor of mine named Mark Nickens.

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So happy mothers’ day, moms. We’ll see you soon.

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Happy Birthday, Mim

I was so whooped yesterday. I feel fortunate to have even been awake for Mimmer’s birthday. But we did the gifting, and her sister came up from Durham, and we took her out to O’Charley’s, and I understand she did some midnight bowling. She came in late; I know that much. Happy birthday, Mims.

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