Grade 2 and 3 students from Holy Cross Catholic School marched into downtown Kemptville on Thursday morning, participating in the area’s Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics Ontario. The Law Enforcement Torch Run is one of the main fundraisers for the Special Olympics.
The Special Olympics Ontario School Championships were held in Peterborough at the end of May this year. Some Olympians from St. Michael Catholic High School where at the Torch Run on Thursday, sporting several medals each. One of the Olympians, Casey, seemed thrilled to be able to participate in the run and show off her hardware. “She is new to the area and a great addition to Saint Mike’s,” says Constable Cathy Lindsay.
Constable Stacey Campbell says that the Torch Run is one of several fundraisers law enforcement in the province runs to raise money for Special Olympics Ontario. “It is the Ontario Chiefs of Police Association’s charity of choice,” she says. During the run, law enforcement members carry the “Flame of Hope” as a symbol of courage and celebration of diversity.
In its 31st year, the Law Enforcement Torch Run champions acceptance and inclusion of people with intellectual disabilities. It raises money to support all Special Olympics Ontario programs, and helps pay for expenses including travel, accommodation, meals, staff support on the field, grants to new community programs, volunteer and athlete training, administration, and informational/promotional materials. It also funds the development of initiatives like the “School Program” which opens up opportunities to new athletes. Since its inception, the Law Enforcement Torch Run has raised more than $40 million and changed millions of attitudes. “Ontario is the 5th largest fundraiser in the world [for the Special Olympics],” Stacey says.