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PECI students help law enforcement carry Flame of Hope

The “Flame of Hope” burned as bright as the sunshine Thursday morning as it was proudly carried through Picton.
Prince Edward County OPP constable Kim Guthrie welcomed PECI students, PEC firefighters and local police officers who joined in to support the 25th annual Ontario Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics.
“This run helps raise awareness and funds for the Special Olympics,” she told the students. “This is the charity of choice for police associations across Ontario. We pass the flame through all the detachments to the opening ceremonies of the spring games next weekend in Kingston. The Special Olympians are not professionally endorsed like our other olympians are, and the money raised goes to assist them with training, uniforms and travel.”
The torch run is the largest fundraiser for Special Olympics Ontario. In 2011 alone, more than $1.4 million was raised. The run continues until it reaches Kingston on May 31 for the Games’ opening ceremonies. More than 1,000 athletes, coaches and families are expected to participate.

With the endorsement of the Ontario Association of Chiefs of Police, the first Law Enforcement Torch Run in Canada was held in 1987 and generated $100,000 in funds with the participation of Law Enforcement personnel from Southern Ontario. Nationally, 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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