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Local Officers Take Part In 2018 Law Enforcement Torch Run

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VESTAL, N.Y. -

Dozens of Broome County law enforcement members and local Special Olympic athletes gathered Thursday afternoon to take part in the statewide Law Enforcement Torch Run. 

The Law Enforcement Torch Run is led by the “Guardians of the Flame,” which includes over 6,000 officers from 470 agencies across New York State. The goal of the run is to raise funds and awareness for the athletes of Special Olympics New York.

In Broome County, the run began at 2 p.m. at Binghamton University’s Peace Quad. Runners carried the “Flames of Hope” (Special Olympic Torch) 1.5 miles to their end destination at Tully’s. 

Runners arrived at Tully’s around 2:15 p.m., where soon after, the restaurant presented the Special Olympics New York with a big check worth $14,147, raising well-over their goal of $10,000. 

“If it wasn’t for our law enforcement partners, many of our athletes would not have the opportunity. It cost approximately $400 per athlete per season to train and that money is all pretty much provided through partnerships including $2 million dollars a year raised by local law enforcement,” said Cassandra Rucker, Director of Development for Special Olympics Central Region and Southern Tier. 

The decades-old tradition benefits Special Olympics New York and serves as a lead-in to the opening ceremonies of the annual New York’s State Summer Games. This year’s games will be hosted by Siena College in Loudonville from June 15 to 17.

Special Olympics New York is the largest Special Olympics program in the U.S. with 66,835 athletes.