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For the 27th year in New York state, law enforcement officers will be carrying the Special Olympics Torch throughout various communities leading up to Opening Ceremonies at the State Summer Games. The cauldron will be lit on June 14 in Buffalo, signifying the opening of the 2013 State Summer Games.
On Friday, May 3, the Special Olympics Torch will begin its journey at the Olean Municipal Building at 10 a.m. The athletes will start off with the Flame of Hope as they team up with local law enforcement agencies and the Olean community. The New York State Police, Cattaraugus County Sheriffs, Olean Police, NYS SWAT, Cuba Police, St. Bonaventure ROTC and Cattaraugus County Special Response Team will all participate in this year's run.
This run will begin at Olean Municipal Building, travel west down Route 417 and finish at St. Bonaventure University as local law enforcement agencies raise awareness throughout the community for Special Olympics New York. This will be the first run of many throughout Western New York communities.
The Law Enforcement Torch Run (LETR) is the largest grassroots fundraising and public awareness vehicle for Special Olympics in the world. In addition to carrying the “Flame of Hope” to their local and state Special Olympic games, law enforcement officials organize and conduct additional fundraising initiatives such as Polar Plunges, merchandise sales and golf outings. In 2012, more than $42 million was raised internationally through LETR events. More than $1.3 million was raised last year for Special Olympic athletes through LETR fundraisers in New York.
Since its inception, more than $6 million has been raised through LETR fundraisers providing training, equipment, venues, uniforms and transportation for hundreds of thousands of Special Olympics New York athletes for a quarter of a century.
Special Olympics New York has 61,582 athletes across New York state compete and train in Olympic-style sports throughout the year, always at no cost to them or their families.
(Courtesy of Special Olympics New York)
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