Two Cheshire police officers have joined a law enforcement team set to travel thousands of miles to Tanzania next February, then climb 19,341-foot Mount Kilimanjaro, the highest peak in Africa, all to raise money for the Special Olympics of Connecticut.
Talk about going the extra mile!
Officer David Maliar and Lt. Mike Durkee plan to join 12 other law enforcement officers and three civilians from around the state to make the climb, which will take seven days. Once the climbers have reached the top of the mountain, they will post the Special Olympics of Connecticut flag.
“I didn’t want to do the same tired things that we do every year and thought of something different,” Maliar said.
This is indeed something different, and all for a good cause. The group hopes to raise $19,341 — a dollar for every foot of the mountain. So far, the two officers have raised more than $6,000.
The next fundraising event will be a comedy night on Saturday, May 11, at the Cheshire Parks and Recreation Youth Center at 7:30 p.m. The event will be co-hosted by the Cheshire Chamber of Commerce.
The fundraising includes sponsorships by local companies and organizations. Each sponsor will receive a photo of the climbers on Kilimanjaro with the company logo on a flag.
Police Chief Neil Dryfe said the department has raised funds for the Special Olympics in the past, but the climb takes that effort to the “next level.”
Founded in 1968, the Special Olympics “strives to create a better world by fostering the acceptance and inclusion of all people,” according to its mission statement. “Through the power of sports, people with intellectual disabilities discover new strengths and abilities, skills and success.”
As for the Cheshire police officers, “It’s a significant investment of time and effort on their own part. I admire their commitment to it,” Dryfe said.
We wish them great success.
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