"As an agency we pay just 12 or 15 dollars an athlete and it cost upwards of 125-150 dollars per athlete to send them to a state level game. There is no way we could afford to do it without law enforcement torch run," said Kristin Caso of the Albany Recreation and Parks Department.
The money raised for the event goes to offset the cost of sending athletes to state. In 2009 the event raised over $600,000 dollars for Special Olympics Georgia. And for athletes like 10 time gold medalist Billy Griner - the help is greatly appreciated.
"The flame of hope means a whole lot to us athletes since Mrs. Kennedy started Special Olympics and appreciate all the law enforcement, sheriff's office, Dougherty County, A.P.D. it means a lot. Daddy's looking down on me and my friends are looking down on me," said Griner.