Law Enforcement Special Olympics Torch Run tours Wellington County

Though the wrap-up run was in Fergus on May 17, the local Torch Run for Special Olympics encompassed all of the county this year.

Police Constable David Gruber explained the Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics fundraiser has taken place across North America “for a long time.”

Gruber noted the event is in its 25th year in Ontario.

“Our goal is to raise funds for the Special Olympics and awareness in local communities about the event,” he said.

Gruber added, “Police officers around the country are participating in this. The torches get passed across Ontario and end up in Kingston for the final leg of the run.”

This year the Special Olympics are being held in Kingston from May 31 to June 3.

Gruber added that in Wellington there’s been quite a bit of fundraising going on, including partnerships with Scotiabank and Zehrs.

“We’ve raised over $6,500 in Wellington County to support our athletes from the area,” he said.

Gruber added there is a two-tiered approach: fundraising and awareness “to get everyone in the community aware of what we’re doing.”

He added there were torch runs in both Palmerston and Rockwood earlier in the day.

“Everyone in the north and south of the county then meet in Fergus for the final leg,” he explained.

About the torch run

In its most general form, the Ontario Law Enforcement Torch Run is a community based, province-wide event that sees the Flame of Hope carried across Ontario by members of law enforcement from various communities.

The objective of this and other events is to raise funds for and awareness of the Special Olympics movement in Ontario. Funds raised through torch run events are directed into program support that directly affects all community Special Olympics’ programs.

The Special Olympics stand as a leader in the field of intellectual disability and has sharpened the focus on its mission to be not just as a Sports organization for people with intellectual disabilities, but also as an effective catalyst for social change.

Children and adults with intellectual disabilities who participate in Special Olym­pics exhibit boundless courage and enthusiasm, enjoy the rewards of friendship and ultimately discover not only new abilities and talents but “their voices” as well. Special Olympics is founded on the belief that people with intellectual disabilities can, with proper instruction and encouragement, learn, enjoy and benefit from participation in individual and team Sports. Special Olympics empowers people with intellectual disabilities to realize their full po­tential and develop their skills through year-round Sports training and competition.