On May 21, participants from all over Daleville will run two miles with the Botetourt County Sheriff’s Office while carrying the “Flame of Hope” to raise awareness and funds for Special Olympics Virginia athletes. The run itself may only last two miles, but the impact that the campaign has had on Deputy Nick Harper’s life will last forever.
To Harper, this event is much more than just a run, it means supporting friend, mentor, and Special Olympics Virginia Athlete, Josh Leonard. Harper and Leonard’s friendship began when Leonard worked in the Botetourt County Sheriff’s office once a week. Harper instantly connected with Leonard over their mutual love of sports, especially hockey. The two are frequently seen in the stands together cheering on their favorite hockey teams.
“Josh is such an inspiration to me. He always wants to practice to be better at everything he does and I want to continue to support athletes like him in Special Olympics programs,” said Harper.
After the duo and fellow participants run the two miles together, there will be a parking lot celebration at the Botetourt YMCA with grilled hot dogs, chips, and drinks.