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Torch run a win-win event for all concerned

September 13, 2012
The Mining Journal

Michigan is a long state - running about 750 miles from north to south - and no one knows that better than the law enforcement personnel who are jogging from Copper Harbor to the Detroit area this week.

This trek isn't just for fun, either, although the officers appear to be enjoying their travel along the highways, including a crew that ran through Marquette County on Tuesday.

The trip this week is the annual Law enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics, which has been raising money for the organization for more than 30 years.

Started in 1981 by a police chief in Kansas, the run has mushroomed to include officers from across the country and beyond.

In Michigan, the run consists of three teams: Fraternal Order of Police, Michigan Department of Corrections and Michigan State Police. Each team provides six runners who each run five miles at a time, averaging about eight-minute miles.

The runners have been raising money throughout the year to participate in the event, which in recent years has earned more than $600,000 annually for Special Olympics programs in Michigan.

There have been some spinoffs, as well, such as polar plunges and local fun runs that add more badly needed money to the program.

In 2010, for example, there were more than 19,000 Special Olympic athletes in the state, and the funds raised by law enforcement personnel assist them greatly.

In addition, anyone wanting to donate to Special Olympics Michigan can text "TORCH" to 5200 to make a donation, or visit the organization's website at for more information on donating.

While providing funds for the program is a main goal of the run, another important objective is to raise awareness of the athletes who compete in Special Olympics - which is certainly being accomplished as law enforcement personnel make their way from the northern tip of the U.P. to the southern border of the state this week.



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