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Flame of Hope helps ‘Let the Dreams Begin’

The “Flame of Hope” was carried through Picton Wednesday morning in support of the Ontario Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics. The event raises awareness and funds for the Special Olympics, its provincial floor hockey championships in June and the Canada Summer Games to be held  July 11-17 in London, Ontario.
Athletes from across the country will be taking part in the competitions for the chance to represent Canada at the 2011 Special Olympics World Summer Games in Greece June 24 – July 4.
Co-ordintor for Zone 2 of the run, Napanee OPP Constable Stacey Cooper brought the torch to the event at Picton. She will be heading to Greece as an Ontario runner for Team Canada’s World Running Team.
The County’s run organizer, PEC OPP Constable Kim Guthrie, said the local run is also a build up to next year when Kingston will sponsor and host the 2012 Special Olympics Ontario Spring Games May 31 – June 3 with the athlete’s village being staged at Queen’s University.
With the endorsement of the Ontario Association of Chiefs of Police, the first Law Enforcement Torch Run in Canada was held in 1987. The run has become an annual event in 10 provinces and the Northwest Territories. In Ontario alone, in excess of $26 million has been raised, establishing it as one of the most profitable torch run relationships in the world. Since the torch began its partnership with Special Olympics Ontario, the number of registered athletes has grown from fewer than 4,000 to greater than 16,000 athletes.
Special Olympics Ontario (SOO) is a charitable organization that provides sports training and competition for people with an intellectual disability. The primary objective is to enhance physical, social and psychological development through positive and successful experiences in sport. SOO also strives to prepare athletes for active and successful participation in regular community based sport training, recreation and fitness.
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