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Runners help spread the word, raise funds for Special Olympics with Torch Run

Seth Leonard
sleonard@salisburypost.com
Local law enforcement agencies participated in the annual Torch Run on Wednesday to benefit the Special Olympics.
Officers ran across the county as part of the national event. Similar to the torch ceremonies of the traditional Olympic Games, officers pass the torch at the end of their leg. This usually means at the county line, or somewhere close to the limits of their jurisdiction.
Ultimately, some legs lead to Raleigh, while others will pass torches all the way to Washington, D.C.
The Rowan County Sheriff’s Office took the torch near Kannapolis. The Salisbury Police Department received the handoff near Airport Road and from there ran all the way to Spencer.
According to Lt. Melanie Thompson of the Salisbury Police Department, it wasn’t just new officers doing the dirty work.
“We had probably two that were in their 40s, and we had two rookies, two experienced officers and one Explorer,” Thompson said.
Thompson noted many of the same runners participate each year, although a few new torchbearers got in on the action this time.
The event raises money for the Special Olympics through donations. People can simply give money, or they can sponsor a runner by the mile. Other money comes from hat and shirt sales.
As of Jan. 26, the N.C. Law Enforcement Torch Run had raised $129,000, but the agencies won’t know whether they reached their $1.2 million goal for a while.
Actual torches are used, but for the legs running through Rowan County, the torches were snuffed in anticipation of rain.

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