Memorial run benefits Special Olympics
Sgt. Benjamin Kullman,
24th Press Camp Headquarters:
More than 700 law enforcement members, servicemembers and civilians gathered Sunday to participate in the seventh annual Sgt. Ruben Orozco 8K Law Enforcement Torch Run and 2-Mile Walk to raise funds and awareness for Special Olympics Texas.
The event is held in memory of former El Paso Sheriff’s Department officer Sgt. Ruben Orozco, who was tragically killed in the line of duty in 2005 during an early morning vehicle accident on I-10 near Trowbridge Drive.
Orozco became involved with the Special Olympics during his 26 years with the Sheriff’s Department. For 13 of those years he was an avid participant and volunteer at many SOTX fundraising events and helped coordinate law enforcement “torch runs” in El Paso.
“He loved to help people,” recalls his widow, Mary Orozco. “He was very dedicated to helping people.” Orozco is survived by his wife, his children Liz, Joann, Jose, Ruben Jr. and his grandchildren – Sabrina, Randy, Cyera and Alessandra.
Shortly after Orozco died, his wife was contacted by SOTX informing her that they wished to dedicate future events in his honor. She was delighted with the idea and gave her blessing. For the past seven years the torch run has been held in his memory.
“I told them to go for it,” she said. “It’s a good cause, I don’t mind. And now it looks like we’re getting bigger every year.”
This year’s run was sponsored primarily by a partnership between the El Paso Sheriff’s Department and area Walgreens stores, along with several other local sponsors. The race began at the intersection of Stanton and Cincinnati streets in downtown El Paso and proceeded through Scenic Drive. The two-mile walk portion of the event took place along the same route but on an abbreviated course.
At the end of the event, participants who placed in several different categories ranging from age, gender, ability level and teams, received awards.
All proceeds from the event went directly to fund Special Olympics Texas and the many events they have during the year.
“Just remember,” said Marsha Razo, the event’s organizer, “behind every participant here is a Special Olympics athlete who benefits.”
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