Carrying the 'Flame of Hope'
There may be no cauldron to ignite at Special Olympics Oregon's State Games this year. In fact, there are no games at all after financial issues uncovered in June forced the nonprofit to cancel the event.
But that didn't stop hundreds of law enforcement officers and city staff from around the Portland metro area from gathering outside Lake Oswego High School on Monday for the 32nd-Annual Law Enforcement Torch Run.
Five of the runners hailed from Lake Oswego: Cole Duvall, Bonnie Hirshberger, Rusty Palmeri, Nicole Murray and Tom Hamann. They ran alongside a group of Special Olympics athletes, carrying the "Flame of Hope" 5.4 miles to Cook Park in Tigard.
Nikki Morris of the Lake Oswego Police Department was among the volunteers, and LOPD Officers Brady Moyle, Drew Boggs and Jeff Oliver provided traffic support.
Despite the cancellation of the State Games, money raised by the run will help to provide training, competition and resources to 30 local programs during three sports seasons, according to Chad Carter, senior director of marketing and communications for Special Olympics Oregon.
"While there is no final cauldron to ignite this year, the torch continues to be a very visible symbol of respect and inclusion," Carter told The Review this week, "and of the strong partnership between the Guardians of the Flame, Oregon's law enforcement community, and the athletes of Special Olympics Oregon."
— The Review