Local Officers Carry Torch For Special Olympics

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Officers from Rim country law enforcement agencies will be running down the Beeline Highway Thursday ... literally, according to Department of Public Safety Officer Bernadette Koren.

This time of year, law enforcement agencies throughout the world participate in the Torch Run to raise money for the Special Olympics.

Officers from DPS, the Payson Police Department and the Gila County Sheriff's Office will run, bike or walk the stretch of the relay from the southern end of town to the Mazatzal rest area on Highway 188, to raise money for the charity in which developmentally challenged athletes compete.

Koren said the Torch Run is one of the largest fund-raisers for the Special Olympics.

"Agencies have been doing the Torch Run since 1981," Koren said. "People are encouraged to come out and cheer for us and the athletes."

Only law enforcement can do the running, walking or biking, Koren said.

"Officers carry the torch and it ends up at the opening ceremony of the Special Olympics on Friday, May 7," Koren said. "All of our agencies will be doing the Torch Run together. Our torch comes from Show Low and we start and go down south."

Koren said the officers and athletes will gather at 8 a.m. at Chapman Auto Center on the Beeline Highway and parade through town.

Koren said once they reach the southern edge of town, the run begins.

To donate to the Special Olympics, contact Koren at DPS at (928) 474-2606, Deputy Karen Baltz at the GCSO at (928) 474-2208 or Sgt. Donny Garvin at the Payson Police Department at (928) 474-5242, ext. 275.

Commemorative Torch Run shirts also can be purchased by calling Garvin at the police station.

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