Joseph Pellicci carries a torch for the Special Olympics.
From camping out on the roof tops of doughnut shops to hitting the pavement in nationwide road races, the Richland County Sheriff’s Department captain has long been an advocate for the hundreds of South Carolina Special Olympics athletes.
Pellicci, a 15-year department veteran, has been inducted into the Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics Hall of Fame for his longstanding impact on Special Olympics and his dedication to its mission.
Inductees are selected by the International Law Enforcement Torch Run Council, which promotes grass-roots efforts of Special Olympics through various fundraisers.
Pellicci is credited with helping develop and grow the state Law Enforcement Torch Run, which annually raises more than $500,000 for Special Olympics. He has served on the International Law Enforcement Torch Run executive council, as regional coordinator in the Southeastern USA and as chairman for the Affiliates Committee of the Law Enforcement Torch Run Council.
“Captain Pellicci’s steadfast efforts to grow the Law Enforcement Torch Run in South Carolina have made a significant impact on the South Carolina athletes who participate in Special Olympics,” said executive director Michael Team.
Pellicci was formally honored this past weekend.
“It was very exciting to see him receive the award and the recognition he deserves,” said Sue Manor, vice president of communications and programs for Special Olympics South Carolina. “His dedication to the community through Special Olympics is inspiring to everyone who is fortunate enough to work with him.”
Supporting law and order
Lugoff resident Joe Upchurch has received the Kershaw County Sheriff’s Foundation’s first Leonard L. Price Friend of Law Enforcement Award.
The award recognizes an individual’s support for law enforcement and is named for Price, a Kershaw County resident who has invested heavily in local law enforcement.
Upchurch, a co-owner of Upchurch and Jowers Insurance agency in Camden, has given his time and money to support local law enforcement. For the past 15 years, the insurance agency has funded the Roger Latham Deputy of the Year Award, which presents $1,000 to a Kershaw County Sheriff’s deputy before Christmas.
Upchurch also has provided his personal helicopter for law enforcement searches.
He was formally recognized with his family during the recent sheriff’s department barbecue.
“I am surprised and honored to win this award,” Upchurch said. “Supporting law enforcement has been something I’ve enjoyed doing for years.”