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Special Olympics Torch Run coming through Rowan

By Shavonne Potts
Salisbury Post
The Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics will make its way through Rowan County next week.
The Torch Run is an event in which officers and athletes carry the “Flame of Hope” leading up to the Special Olympics opening ceremonies in Raleigh.
It’s also an opportunity to raise money for Special Olympics.
The torch will pass through this region beginning May 20 in Mecklenburg County. From there, it’s on to Kannapolis and the route goes through Rowan County on May 28.
Runners from the Rowan County Sheriff’s Office will start the local leg of the Torch Run in Landis. They’ll run near 29th Street and through China Grove before passing the torch to Salisbury Police Department runners at Airport Road.
It’s about a 10-mile run, said Sheriff’s Sgt. Mike Brady.
Brady is one of this area’s event organizers.
He said officers from different agencies usually run together.
The N.C. Highway Patrol is also expected to participate in this year’s run.
The Summer Games take place June 6-8. Nearly 1,300 athletes will compete in athletic events including aquatics, gymnastics, powerlifting, softball and volleyball.
Brady said many Torch Run from the Sheriff’s Office also go to the games in June.
Brady has been a part of the Torch Run program since 1987. But this is the first year Lt. Melonie Thompson of the Salisbury Police Department has worked helped plan the event.
“We’re excited about it. Anytime we can help out Special Olympics, we are always willing to help,” Thompson said.
She said Salisbury Police runners should get the torch at 10:30 a.m. and at the end of their portion will most likely pass it off to participants from the Highway Patrol, who will carry the torch into Davidson County. The local leg of the run will end in Thomasville.
The first leg began May 15 in Waynesville. The 15th and final leg will end in Raleigh on June 5, a day before the games begin.
The 2,000-mile, 15-day Torch Run involves more than 2,500 law enforcement officers and personnel representing more than 200 law enforcement agencies across North Carolina, according to North Carolina Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics Web site.
Brady urges those who still want to volunteer or make a donation to contact him or Capt. Kevin Auten at the Rowan County Sheriff’s Office at 704-216-8700 or via email through the agency’s Web site at www.rowansheriff.org
Contact Shavonne Potts at 704-797-4253 or spotts@salisburypost.com.

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