Sheriff’s Department benefits Torch Run

Published 10:26 am Friday, May 21, 2010

Sheriff’s deputies love two things: food and helping others. Every year the Shelby County Sheriff’s deputies get to combine their two passions when they sell Boston butts to benefit Torch Run.

Retired deputies Bob O’Connor, Clifford Moore and Jack Denton will spend the next two days cooking Boston butts in a smoker manufactured and donated by Saginaw Pipe. The meat can be picked up at the Sheriff’s office on May 21 or at the classic car show presented by Edwards Chevrolet on May 22.

The $20 entry fees for the car show also will go to Torch Run, law enforcement’s international philanthropy benefitting Special Olympics.

“They do run their torch just like the regular Olympic games,” said Deputy Shelby O’Connor.

Last year, law enforcement officers all over the world raised $35 million for Torch Run, with about $2,500 raised by the Boston butt sale.

This year, the deputies sold 65 butts initially, which is substantially fewer than the 100 they’ve sold in years past.

“But when the smoke went flittin’ around town, we got phone calls wanting more,” said Shelby O’Connor.

The men also throw deer sausage and other meats on the grill to eat for their own dinners while they spend the day relaxing, cooking and socializing.

Cooking the butts isn’t always simple and fun, however.

“One year they were out here all night long in the pouring rain trying to keep the temperature right, poor things,” O’Connor said.

Any hardships the men face while cooking are definitely worth the payoff of knowing they’re making a difference, they said.

“Life has been fairly generous to us, and it’s a nice way to give something back,” Bob O’Connor said.