Local Law Agencies Run Torch Through Northern California, Kicking Off Special Olympics Summer Games

Berkeley, California (EastBayDaily) — More than 500 law enforcement personnel from federal, military, state, county and local agencies will be running the Special Olympics’ “Flame of Hope” through Northern California from May 30 through June 6. The event is part of the annual Law Enforcement Torch Run, a year-round fundraising campaign that will culminate at the Special Olympics Northern California Summer Games, June 6-8.

The Special Olympics Summer Games brings together more than 900 Special Olympics athletes from throughout Northern California to compete in aquatics, bocce, tennis, track & field and volleyball. The Games officially begin after the final leg of the Torch Run has been completed and the “Flame of Hope” lights the Special Olympics cauldron during Opening Ceremonies.

As one of the state’s largest grassroots fundraising efforts, the Law Enforcement Torch Run has become the single largest supporter of Special Olympics Northern California, a free year-round sports program that training and competitions opportunities that serves more than 13,000 children and adults with developmental disabilities. Since 1995, Northern California law enforcement has raised $7.7 million with the goal to raise $850,000 more in 2008.    

The Law Enforcement Torch Run begins in Placer County at 5 a.m. on Friday, May 30 followed by a press conference at the Capitol Building at 10 a.m. Throughout the week of June 2 the “Flame of Hope” will travel hundreds of miles throughout 21 counties arriving at Berkeley on Friday, June 6 for the opening of the Summer Games. Every Officer running the torch has earned the right to be a “Guardian of the Flame” by raising funds and awareness for Special Olympics.

Torch Run Schedule: Friday, May 30 – Torch #1 starts in Placer County and splits into 2 torches at a press conference at the State Capitol at 10 a.m. Torch #1 proceeds through Sacramento and Yolo counties to Solano County and torch #2 begins traveling through San Joaquin County; Torch #3 starts the southern route in King City, Monterey County and proceeds to Santa Cruz and San Benito Counties.

Monday, June 2 – Torch #1 continues through Solano County; Torch #2 proceeds through San Joaquin County; Torch # 3 continues the trek through San Benito and Santa Cruz counties to Santa Clara County. Torch #4 starts the northern leg in Sonoma County.

Tuesday, June 3 – Torch # 1 continues in Solano County and gets passed to Contra Costa County; Torch # 2 continues through San Joaquin County and is passed to Alameda County. Torch #3 continues in Santa Clara County; Torch #4 continues in Sonoma County and is passed to Marin County.

Wednesday, June 4 – Torch # 1 continues throughout Contra Costa County and is extinguished with pass to Alameda County; Torch #2 continues throughout East Alameda County to Southern Alameda County; Torch #3 is passed to San Mateo County; Torch #4 continues through Marin County and is extinguished with San Francisco pass on Thursday morning.

Thursday, June 5 -Torch #2 treks from Southern Alameda County to Oakland where Alameda County Sheriff receives and combines with Torch #3 which was received from San Mateo County Sheriff County at handoff in the bay at Treasure Island; once hand off has occurred at Jack London Square, Torch #2 is extinguished and the “Flame of Hope” is created for the final run to Summer Games.         

Friday, June 6 – “Flame of Hope” starts its’ final journey to Summer Games at University of California Berkeley.    

Opening Ceremonies, featuring Country Superstar Collin Raye and artist David Garibaldi, will be from 7:30-9:30 p.m. at the Haas Pavilion. Competition is scheduled to continue from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. on Saturday and 9 a.m.-2 p.m. on Sunday. Please see Summer Games Event Schedule

Special Olympics Northern California is a free year-round sports training and competition program for children and adults with developmental disabilities. More than 13,000 athletes compete in over 170 competitions throughout the region in 19 sports. Programs are free to all eligible athletes. Financial support comes almost exclusively from individuals, organizations, corporations, and foundations. Find out how you can be a fan and visit http://www.sonc.org.


Kirsten Cherry
Special Olympics Northern California