Local Law Enforcement to Run Flame of Hope™ Throughout Northern California, Kicking off 2011 Special Olympics Summer Games

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More than 500 Law Enforcement Personnel Participating in Two Week-long Torch Relay Fundraiser to Benefit the Programs and Activities of Special Olympics Northern California

"Our partners in law enforcement have been critical to meeting the funding goals we have for our vital programs and services at Special Olympics." Rick Collett, CEO, Special Olympics Northern California

More than 500 law enforcement personnel from federal, military, state, county and local agencies will be running the Special Olympics’ Flame of Hope™ throughout Northern California from June 10 through June 24. The event is part of the annual Law Enforcement Torch Run®, a year-round fundraising campaign that will culminate at the Special Olympics Northern California Summer Games, June 24–26 at UC Davis.

The Special Olympics Summer Games brings together more than 700 Special Olympics athletes from throughout Northern California to compete in aquatics, bocce, tennis and track and field. The Games officially begin after the final leg of the Torch Run has been completed and the Flame of Hope™ lights the Special Olympics caldron during Opening Ceremonies.

As one of the state’s largest grassroots fundraising efforts, the Law Enforcement Torch Run® has become the single largest supporter of Special Olympics Northern California, a free year-round sports program that serves more than 18,000 children and adults with intellectual disabilities and their families. Since 1995, Northern California law enforcement has raised $10.3 million with the goal to raise another $1 million in 2011.    

The Law Enforcement Torch Run began in Tulare County on June 10. Over two weeks, the Flame of Hope™ will travel hundreds of miles throughout 21 counties arriving at Davis, California on Friday, June 24 for the opening of the 2011 Special Olympics Northern California Summer Games. Every officer running the torch has earned the right to be a “Guardian of the Flame” by raising funds and awareness for Special Olympics. For specific details on the torch route contact Wendy Shipley at 510-334-8860 or Dorreen Roth at 925-381-1170.

Opening Ceremonies will be from 7:30 - 9:30 p.m. at Aggie Stadium, U.C. Davis. Athletes and their coaches will be escorted by a police motorcade and welcomed into Aggie Stadium by the "Wall of Honor" consisting of Law Enforcement personnel from all over Northern California. Law Enforcement personnel will be joined by several Special Olympics athletes and together they will light the Special Olympics caldron to officially open the Games. Competition is scheduled to continue from 8 a.m. - 4 p.m. on Saturday and 9 a.m. - 2 p.m. on Sunday. The public is invited and admission is free.    

ABOUT SPECIAL OLYMPICS

Special Olympics Northern California provides athletic opportunities that instill the confidence young people and adults with intellectual disabilities need to navigate life more successfully. Special Olympics serves more than 18,000 participants and their families throughout Northern California year-round. All programs are free of charge to participants and Special Olympics Northern California is entirely funded through the generosity local individuals and businesses.

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