Delaware state trooper receives Special Olympics award

Pictured are, from left, Sr. Cpl. Danielle Martin, Delaware Law Enforcement for Special Olympics “Winnie Spence Torch Runner of the Year,” Chris Truono, Special Olympics Delaware “Athlete of the Year;” and Chief Bobby Cummings, Chairperson, Delaware Law Enforcement for Special Olympics. (Submitted photo/Delaware State Police)

Pictured are, from left, Sr. Cpl. Danielle Martin, Delaware Law Enforcement for Special Olympics “Winnie Spence Torch Runner of the Year,” Chris Truono, Special Olympics Delaware “Athlete of the Year;” and Chief Bobby Cummings, Chairperson, Delaware Law Enforcement for Special Olympics. (Submitted photo/Delaware State Police)

DOVER — Delaware State Police Senior Cpl. Danielle Martin is the Delaware Law Enforcement for Special Olympics 2016 “Winnie Spence Torch Runner of the Year.”

A state police news release profiled Senior Cpl. Martin when announcing her honor:

• Member of Delaware State Police since July 2002 (13 years).

• Currently assigned to the domestic violence section of the Major Crimes Unit at Troop 3.

• Ad solicitor (for Summer Games and the Year in Review) since the 2004-2005 season.

• Placed in charge of the Ad Solicitation Program in Kent County in 2010 and currently works with Special Olympics staff to train other ad solicitors throughout Kent County.

• Leg coordinator for the Law Enforcement Torch Run in Kent County since 2010.

• Member of the Law Enforcement for Special Olympics Executive Committee since 2010.

• Agency representative for Kent County for LESO since approximately. 2009.

• Volunteer for many events including the Truck Convoy, Run to the Plunge, Polar Bear Plunge, Ride to the Tide and Over the Edge.

• Became a Class “A” Volunteer in 2014.

• An inaugural “Edger,” rappelling in the Over the Edge Event in 2011.

• Attends competitions throughout the year to present athletes with their medals including bowling, basketball, motor skills, equestrian, as well as at the Fall Festival and Summer Games.

• Member of the LETR Final Leg for the USA Games in New Jersey in 2014.

• Selected to represent Delaware and carry the Miner’s Lamp during a ceremony at the 2014 LETR International Conference in New Orleans.

• Participated with a team in the 2015 Unified Relay Across America, as the torch crossed through Delaware on its way to the 2015 World Games in Los Angeles, raising more than $2,000 for Special Olympics International.

Senior Cpl. Martin shared her most memorable Torch Run and Special Olympics memories:

“Running into the parking lot of the Bob Carpenter Center before the Summer Games Opening Ceremony and seeing the athletes and their families on the sides of the parking lot. They were cheering us on with such enthusiasm, reaching their hands out for high-fives,” she said.

“I felt so humbled because I felt like we should be the ones cheering for them! This was so awe inspiring, brought tears to my eyes, and really reminded me of the need to continue to stay involved.

“Being part of the 2014 final leg for the USA Games. Running alongside the athletes while carrying the Flame of Hope through New Jersey, interacting with them on a daily basis, getting to hear the stories of their challenges and triumphs, getting to know them and see first-hand how important and life changing Special Olympics has been for them; was such an honor and an unforgettable experience. It was an experience that reinforced my commitment to Special Olympics and the Law Enforcement Torch Run, so that together, we can continue to provide life changing opportunities to those with intellectual disabilities.

“My favorite Special Olympics memories usually come from when I attend a competition and get the chance to interact with the athletes, cheer them on and award them with their medals.

“I have several memories that are dear to me, however, if I had to pick one, I would choose one from an equestrian event I attended in 2012. I had the opportunity to watch the competition in between the medal presentations. I observed a female athlete finishing her event and beginning to exit the riding ring. She had such a big smile on her face and yelled out to her mother, ‘Mom, I did it!’ She didn’t know if she had won the gold or even if she had won at all; she was just so happy and proud of herself that she, “Did it.” No doubt, her mother was just as happy and proud!

“That moment touched my heart and served as a permanent reminder of what the true spirit of Special Olympics is all about.

Special Olympics Start: “Like many officers, my involvement with the Torch Run began with simply running in the Torch Run in 2005. Also, that same year, I was approached by a fellow shift-mate and asked to assist with the Ad Solicitation Campaign for the Summer Games Program and Year in Review (known then as the Yearbook), and began fundraising for same in the 2004-2005 season.

“In 2006, I attended my first regional conference where I learned more about the Torch Run Movement and how to get more involved. I began attending local competitions and quickly became engaged in the enthusiasm of the athletes when they received their well-deserved medals.

As the Delaware Law Enforcement for Special Olympics “Torch Runner of the Year” for 2016, Senior Cpl. Martin will deliver the Flame of Hope to the Special Olympics Delaware “Athlete of the Year,” Chris Truono, at the Opening Ceremonies of the SODE Summer Games on June 10 at the University of Delaware, on behalf of the entire Delaware Law Enforcement community.

Reach the Delaware State News newsroom at newsroom@newszap.com

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