Athletes, local police carry Flame of Hope down Orchard Road
Kendall County area police officers and members of the Kendall County Special Olympics Team carried an Olympic torch from Montgomery to Oswego Wednesday morning, June 5, as part of the annual Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics Illinois.
For Wednesday's relay, runners departed from the Walmart at Orchard Road and Route 30 in Montgomery and headed south on Orchard Road to Mill Road in Oswego. From Mill Road the runners proceeded to Hudson Crossing Park along the east bank of the Fox River in downtown Oswego.
The Torch Run, an annual intrastate relay conducted by several branches of law enforcement, sees approximately 3,000 officers carry the Flame of Hope about 1,500 miles across 23 legs, from June 2-7, eventually ending up at the opening ceremony of the Special Olympics Summer Games, held June 8 in Normal.
Since its inception in 1986, according to Special Olympics Illinois, the Torch Run has increased awareness of the work of the state organization and athletes, and has raised nearly $51 million for the program. The event is the single largest year-round fundraising movement for Special Olympics Illinois.
Tracy Page, HR manager for the Kendall County Sheriff's Office and assistant to Sheriff Dwight Baird, said that the department has been participating in the run for about 20 years.
"It's something good for the community, it brings a lot of people together for a good cause, and it's a worthwhile organization," Page said.
Yorkville Police Department runners CSO Mariesa Shapiama, and Detective Dennis Meyer participated in the relay for the first time Wednesday.
"It's a good cause, and you get to bond with the best," Shapiama said.
"It's a really good cause, and it's something we want to do here in Yorkville...we're excited to do it," Meyer said.