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University Police Help Ignite "Flame of Hope" for Special Olympians

 Written by Arielle Cotoia

Willimantic, Conn. - The Eastern Connecticut State University Police Department, along with members of the Willimantic Police Department, will participate in the Special Olympics Law Enforcement Torch Run at 8 a.m. on June 9. The public is encouraged to take part in the run or support the runners and Special Olympians along the university route. 

This year's goal for 2011 is to raise $550,000 for Special Olympics Connecticut. Runners should arrive at the Child and Family Development Resource Center Lot at 7:55 a.m. The race will begin at the corner of High Street and Charter Oak and proceed through campus, past the Foster Clock Tower before heading south onto the streets of Willimantic and finishing at the Mansfield town line. All runners are required to sign a waiver and provide a $10 donation for a Torch Run shirt that must be worn throughout the run.

More than 1,500 Special Olympics Connecticut athletes and law enforcement personnel will carry the "Flame of Hope" 530 miles in 100 Connecticut cities and towns.  Eastern's Police Department has participated in the run since 2001 and has raised approximately $3,000 each year for Special Olympics Connecticut.

            The mission of the Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics Connecticut is to raise funds and awareness of the Special Olympics movement. "The Law Enforcement Torch Run in Connecticut is more than just an event," says Sergeant Luis Rosa, Torch Run director and an 18-year volunteer at the event. "It is a mission, a serious commitment by the law enforcement community to pay homage to our heroes, the Special Olympics Connecticut athletes and their families."

            To participate in the run or to make a donation, please contact Eastern Officer David DeNunzio at or Eastern Police Lt. Tom Madera at or (860) 465-5310.   


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