The annual Ontario Law Enforcement Torch Run is set to take place on Oct. 17. It is the largest public awareness fundraiser for Special Olympics in the province and has raised more than $35 million since its inception.
Locally, in support of the Torch Run, the Guardians Half Marathon/5K event will be taking place at OPP Headquarters on Sunday morning at 10 a.m.
“We are very passionate about supporting our Special Olympics athletes and this is a way to raise awareness, funds and show our support,” said OPP Commissioner Thomas Carrique.
“This is a gateway for athletes to continue their training, competition, and it brings much joy and value to their lives individually and their families," he said.
While people can participate in the event by running in the half marathon in person or virtually, they can also support Special Olympics by drafting an athlete for $250.
“Your financial contribution goes a long way to sustaining the training that takes place for these games that are highly competitive. The programs are assisting youth and adults with intellectual disabilities in being their absolute physical best,” Carrique said.
The commissioner says it fills his heart with joy to see the positive impacts that come from Special Olympic athletes participating in sporting events.
“You will never meet more positive people than Special Olympic athletes. They truly bring joy to everyone who takes the time to get to know them and interact with them,” he said.
This year’s fundraising goal is $70,000. Already, the event has raised $62,000.
“We are looking to hit and completely surpass the $70,000 mark, and that’s just for the Guardians run,” Carrique said.
“We would never want that to stop anyone from continuing to contribute to Special Olympics overall. That’s an ongoing year-round fundraising effort that needs to be sustained.”
For more information about the event or to register to participate in person or online, click here.