Metro Officers Run To Help Disabled Kids

April 6, 2001

Annual Challenge Cup Relay: Baker to Vegas!
April 7, 2001
Baker, California to Las Vegas, Nevada
LAPD Metro Officers & Los Angeles Orthopaedic Hospital Foundation
To Help Disabled Children
By Running 120 Miles, Non-stop
Los Angeles – Why are LAPD Metropolitan Division officers trekking 120 miles across the desert and through the mountains and battling extreme temperatures? Are they on some covert operation? Perhaps they are apprehending suspects or neutralizing terrorists? Actually, 20 members of this elite squad are carrying out an even more heroic feat. At this year’s 17th Annual Challenge Cup Relay on April 7, 2001, LAPD Metropolitan Division officers will spend almost 13 hours, enduring the grueling conditions of the Mojave Desert. They are doing so in an effort to raise money to make the hopes and dreams of countless disabled children from Los Angeles Orthopedic Hospital come true. This year marks the 8th year of this humanitarian partnership between Los Angeles Police Department Metro officers and Orthopedic Hospital.
Every year since 1984, over 200 teams have participated in the grueling 120-mile foot race from Baker, California to Las Vegas, Nevada.
For over 90 years, Orthopedic Hospital has helped children afflicted with crippling conditions receive the finest care in the world and lead healthy, active lives without regard to the family’s ability to pay. The Orthopedic Hospital Foundation raises more than $6.8 million annually to support children’s charity care. This year, five Los Angeles-area Orthopedic Hospital patients have been selected as ambassadors, representing the thousands of children helped by the hospital.
This year’s young and proud ambassadors are Melissa Sanchez (15 years), Michele Avila (13 years), Genesis Mena (10 years), Casey Lees (8 years), Evan Reardon (4 years).
"We are truly grateful to the LAPD Metro Division for being such strong supporters of Orthopedic Hospital, and for giving these kids a newfound hope," said Eloise Helwig, President of Los Angeles Orthopedic Hospital Foundation. "Our relationship with LAPD began eight years ago when Los Angeles Police Department SWAT officers adopted the Hospital. Their ongoing support is greatly appreciated, and it truly brightens the lives of our many children," she added.
Not only will officers be "running for kids who can’t, but they will also be running ‘with’ kids who can’t. As they battle Mother Nature, officers will hand off a baton symbolizing the hopes and dreams of all Orthopedic Hospital children. The 20 members of the LAPD Metro Division Team run not only to inspire children who dream of such adventures, but also to motivate others to help raise money so that these kids get the most out of life.
"Running for kids who can’t, is something that motivates all of us," said Lt. Mike Albanese of the LAPD Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) Unit. "It provides us with a unique perspective on life, because we are able to perform activities that these kids are unable to do on their own."
For more information about the Orthopedic Hospital Foundation, or to make a donation, please call 213-742-1500 or visit the website at Interviews with Orthopedic Hospital representatives, LAPD Metro officers, and the Orthopedic Hospital child ambassadors are available. Photographs of the child ambassadors are also available upon request by contacting Agnes Huff, PhD, or Larye Radley, Agnes Huff Communications Group, LLC, at 310-641-2525, or E-mail:
For more information regarding this press release, please contact Media Relations Section at 213-485-3586.
Officer Guillermo Campos, Media Relations Section prepared this Press Release.