Torch Run Has Far-Reaching Effects

Runners assemble on Windsor's riverfront prior to the final leg of the 2015 Law Enforcement Torch Run. Each year the event is held to raise funds and bring awareness to Special Olympics.Photo by Ian Shalapata.

Runners assemble on Windsor’s riverfront prior to the final leg of the 2015 Law Enforcement Torch Run. Each year the event is held to raise funds and bring awareness to Special Olympics.
Photo by Ian Shalapata.

Header-image-Shalapata-2By Ian Shalapata

(WINDSOR, ON) – Yesterday marked the 28th annual Law Enforcement Torch Run in Essex County. All the policing agencies in Windsor and Essex participated to help to raise funds and awareness for Special Olympics.

Windsor Police officer Adam Young, one of the Torch Run coordinators, conveyed that the event plays an important role for the community.

“It’s important that everybody in the city knows about Special Olympics and what’s out there for people with mental disabilities,” he said. “There’s activities and outlets for them to participate in.”

Special Olympians and Windsor Police Chief Al Frederick carry the torch along the riverfront during the final leg of the 2015 Law Enforcement Torch Run. Each year the event is held to raise funds and bring awareness to Special Olympics.Photo by Ian Shalapata.

Special Olympians and Windsor Police Chief Al Frederick carry the torch along the riverfront during the final leg of the 2015 Law Enforcement Torch Run. Each year the event is held to raise funds and bring awareness to Special Olympics.
Photo by Ian Shalapata.

The run started at 8:00 am at the Tecumseh OPP detachment and travelled to each town in the county before the torch arrived at Windsor’s Festival Plaza around 3:00 pm. Runners covered as many as 20 km by the end of the day.

The event was first started in Wichita, KS, in 1981 and has caught on globally. Similar runs were being held in other countries with over 97,000 volunteers across 46 countries. Over the years, the run has helped to raise more than $461 million (US) for the Special Olympics movement.

Each year in Ontario, between $1 million and $1.5 million is raised.

Runners embark on the final leg of the 2015 Law Enforcement Torch Run. Each year the event is held to raise funds and bring awareness to Special Olympics.Photo by Ian Shalapata.

Runners embark on the final leg of the 2015 Law Enforcement Torch Run. Each year the event is held to raise funds and bring awareness to Special Olympics.
Photo by Ian Shalapata.

“Special Olympics is a great cause and ne thing about it I don’t think a lot of people fully embrace what Special Olympics is,” Young said. “Special Olympics helps people with mental disabilities blend into the community and become productive members of society.”

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About the Author

Ian Shalapata
Ian writes for and provides imagery to Square Media Group as well as accepting freelance photographic assignments. In addition, he has contributed to media organizations, sporting groups, and individuals across North America including the Fort Wayne News-Sentinel, Chatham-Kent Sports Network, the Golf Association of Michigan, League 1 Ontario, as well as numerous colleges and universities in Canada and the United States. Email Ian Shalapata
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