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Hays officers prepare to run streets


Special to The Hays Daily News

Special to The Hays Daily News

It is expected that 950 officers from more than 95 agencies will carry the Flame of Hope throughout 30 counties in Kansas as they travel to the annual Special Olympics Summer Games in Wichita. The Law Enforcement Torch Run is a series of statewide runs that will travel approximately 1,500 miles throughout the state.

Law Enforcement Officers, along with Brayden Hugunin of Burlington, Most Inspirational Athlete of 2013, will light the cauldron to officially open the Summer Games in front of more than 3,000 athletes, coaches and fans of Special Olympics on June 6.

Locally, the Hays run route will be starting at 5:30 p.m. June 3 at Walmart SuperCenter, 4301 Vine, then head south on Vine to 27th, to Main and then to the Armory, 200 S. Main. At the Armory, food will be served. The public is invited to attend and encourage the officers with cheering as they pass by businesses and homes. They will run approximately 3 miles.

The Law Enforcement Torch Run began in Wichita in 1981 with six runners and has grown to an international program that involves thousands of law enforcement personnel raising millions of dollars annually to benefit Special Olympics programs in the United States and abroad.

The Torch Run is the largest grassroots fundraiser and public awareness vehicle for Special Olympics. Officers volunteer hundreds of hours each year, and in 2013, raised $451,482 in support of Special Olympics Kansas programs. That feat was accomplished by holding events and fundraising through the statewide torch run, special event fundraisers such as Polar Plunge and the truck convoy, sponsorships and donations.

Ed Pavey, director of the Kansas Law Enforcement Training Center, is the honorary chairman of the Law Enforcement Torch Run. Kalmar Industries and Amerigroup Kansas are guardians of the flame.

Complete details of times and routes are available on www.kansastorchrun.org, or contact Roberta Oborny, (785) 432-1728.