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Special Olympics 30th annual Torch Run comes through Bergen

Photo Credit: Boyd A. Loving
Photo Credit: Boyd A. Loving
Photo Credit: Boyd A. Loving

SHOUT OUT: Despite the rain, the 30th Annual Special Olympics Torch Run made its way into New Jersey early this morning, with several stops on the route through Bergen County.

Stops in Ridgewood included the Willard and Ridge elementary Schools, where soggy but smiling law enforcement officers were cheered on by pupils, teachers and staff members.

Several runners got high fives.

More than 3,000 dedicated law enforcement officers were helping carry the “Flame of Hope” more than 750 miles across the state – stopping at Emerson, Fair Lawn, Hillsdale, Lodi, Lyndhurst, Northvale and Ramsey, among other area sites.

The destination: The College of New Jersey in Ewing, where the torch was to light the cauldron officially launching the Special Olympics New Jersey 2013 Summer Games.

One of the top grassroots fundraising organizations for Special Olympics, the Law Enforcement Torch Run (LETR) is part of an international campaign coordinated and managed by all divisions of law enforcement officers and officials from throughout the world.

Their mission: to raise money and awareness of Special Olympics.

Last year, the LETR for Special Olympics New Jersey raised more than $2.9 million.

INFO: www.njtorchrun.org

ShopRite customers and associates in several towns provided early-morning refreshments along the route, which was winding through more than 300 communities.

Participating law enforcement officers have been raising funds for months leading up to the event.

You can track the Torch Run in real-time on tomorrow by logging on to www.TrackTheTorchNJ.org .

Torch Run support vehicles are outfitted with GPS units that will display torch locations, enabling users to find photo opportunities along the route by showing approximate arrival times.

Special Olympics New Jersey provides free year-round sports training and athletic competition in 24 Olympic-type sports for more than 23,000 children and adults with intellectual disabilities, giving them continuing opportunities to develop physical fitness, demonstrate courage, experience joy and participate in a sharing of gifts, skills and friendship with their families, other Special Olympics athletes and the community.

STORY / PHOTOS: Boyd A. Loving

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