SOUTHINGTON — The police department has been recognized for its efforts in last year’s Special Olympics Torch Run and are hoping for even more participation in this year’s event.
Officer Justin Burke worked for the Special Olympics organization for about six months before he joined the police department.
When he started working as an officer, he became involved with the Torch Run, an annual event leading up to Special Olympics Connecticut. The department was recognized for raising $2,500 for last year’s event and hopes to raise more for this year’s event on June 7.
“It’s something that’s been pretty important to my family and myself,” Burke said about his involvement with the Special Olympics.
There are two main fundraisers for the torch run, a Tip-a-Cop event, which was held last year at Chip’s Restaurant, and a t-shirt fundraiser run in partnership with the Board of Education. This year the department is also offering an “adopt-a-mile” and “adopt-a-town” fundraiser, Burke said. For a $100 donation, people can adopt a mile of the eight-mile run, or for $500 they can adopt the entire run. Signs will be placed along the route to recognize the donations.
Lt. Stephen Elliott said the event is always a positive one, with several special olympians living in town. Spouses, other family members and friends have all participated in the run in previous years. The schools along the route allow the children to come out and cheer as runners pass, and businesses display signs showing support.
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