Carrying the torch

ELIZABETHTOWN Local New York State Troopers took to the streets last week in a special way. The officers, joined by volunteers, ran alongside roads from one end of Essex County to another as part of the annual Law Enforcement Torch Run to raise funds and awareness for Special Olympics. The Torch Run organizes law enforcement officers from across the state to help See TORCH RUN, page 12 Arts & Healing From page 1 support the Special Olympics New York Summer Games. Participants raise money for the event with pledges to runners as well as t-shirt sales. Law enforcement in this area have organized the Torch Run annually for more than 10 years. In 2005 it went global when it was adopted by the International Association of Chiefs of Police. Law Enforcement Torch Runs world-wide gather hundreds of thousands of dollars to support Special Olympics. After receiving the torch at the northern border of Essex County, runners carried the torch south over 26 miles on June 5, alternating with others who rode beside them in a law enforcement vehicle. The runners logged 32 more miles on June 6, before passing the torch off at the countys southern border. On the second leg of their run, the runners made a stop at Elizabethtown-Lewis Central School and were welcomed by a crowd of students in front of the school. We like to incorporate organizations in the community, said Trooper Bernie Bullis, one of the coordinators of this years event. According to Bullis, the Torch Run stopped at ELCS partly to recognize some of the Special Olympics candidates there. These events are never completed by just one person; its a collaborative effort, said Bullis. It reminds me of how nice it is to live in the North Country. According to Bullis, nearly 30 people participated in the Essex County leg of the run, including law enforcement officers and Department of Corrections staff from Moriah Shock Camp. Among those who stopped in Elizabethtown was Bill Bradley. Bradley, who competes in multiple sports in the Special Olympics, ran with the officers from Lewis to Elizabethtown and said he felt good about participating in the Torch Run. The torch continued on through Albany and Syracuse, and then on to Binghamton for the opening ceremonies of Special Olympics New York Summer Games on June 12. For more information about Special Olympics, including how to participate or make donations to support athletes participation, contact Taylor at 561-8190 or area coordinator Barb Thomas, 834-1188.

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