Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics, Ogunquit ME

“You are the stars and the world is watching you. By your presence you send a message to every village, every city, every nation. A message of hope. A message of victory. The right to play on any playing field? You have earned it. The right to study in any school? You have earned it. The right to hold a job? You have earned it. The right to be anyone's neighbor? You have earned it.”

-- Eunice Kennedy Shriver speech at the 1987 Special Olympics World Games, South Bend, Indiana.

In 2002 I ran my first Law Enforcement Torch Run for Maine Special Olympics. In 2003 I went to my first Conference for Law Enforcement Torch Run and was inspired by Director Lisa Bird. Over the years I have met Maine athletes, and watched sport demonstrations and videos about Special Olympics. For several years, I participated in swim relay with athletes at the conference.

Ogunquit is a relatively small town that has a big heart. It's a known fact that the townspeople have a philanthropic spirit.  Every year, several residents, visitors, businesses and second homeowners donate generously to Maine Special Olympics. Over the past 9 years, OPD staff, and members of the community have participated in the Law Enforcement Torch Run.

The length of Ogunquit on US Route One is barely 2.3 miles (3.6 kms), so the run is quite easy. Some towns are 10 miles or longer.  Police cruisers from Kittery, and Ogunquit lead and follow the pack of runners. We pass the torch on to Wells Police dept, and the torch will continue the length of the state. The Torch Run ends on June 11th, which is the start of The Maine Special Olympics in Orono.

OPD staff person, Sharma helps with the bookkeeping, and is a great asset to the project.

The mission of Maine Special Olympics is to provide year-round sports training and athletic competition in a variety of Olympic-type sports for children and adults with intellectual disabilities, giving them continuing opportunities to develop physical fitness, demonstrate courage, experience joy and participate in sharing of gifts, skills and friendship with their families, other Special Olympics athletes, and the community.

I am truly proud to be involved with this outstanding organization. Please donate to Maine Special Olympics, c/o Ogunquit Police 20 Cottage Street, Ogunquit ME  or contact me.

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