Pulaski Police Department officers joined with area athletes and other representatives of Virginia Special Olympics Sunday to take part in the 2014 Special Olympics Torch Run.
The group left from the police department on First Street in northwest Pulaski, running along Washington Avenue and Route 11 to the Walmart store on Pepper’s Ferry Road in Fairlawn. At that point, the torch was handed over to Radford authorities to continue the relay.
Each summer, law enforcement from across the Commonwealth carries the “Flame of Hope” over 1,900 miles in seven days of relays that culminate at the opening ceremony for Virginia Special Olympics Summer Games. The Summer Games will be held in Richmond June 6-8.
The purpose of the Torch Run is to raise awareness and funds for Special Olympics. The Torch Run was started in Kansas in 1981. Pulaski Police Chief Gary Roche said Pulaski police have taken part in the annual event since before he took over as police chief 13 years ago.
According to its website, the mission of Virginia Special Olympics, founded in 1968, is to provide year-round sports training and competitions for children and adults with intellectual disabilities, “giving them continuing opportunities to develop physical fitness, demonstrate courage, experience joy and participate in a sharing of gifts, skills, and friendship.”