Law enforcement agencies from both Clallam and Jefferson counties will carry the Special Olympics Torch across the North Olympic Peninsula in support of Special Olympics athletes today.
The annual event is the largest public awareness effort and fundraising campaign for Special Olympics Washington and raises almost half a million dollars each year, according to Brian King, chief criminal deputy with the Clallam County Sheriff’s Office.
The fundraising helps support Special Olympics in their mission to provide year-round sports training and athletic competition for children and adults with intellectual disabilities, King said.
The National Park Service will start off the Torch Run from Laird’s Corner at 7 a.m. today.
With assistance from the prosecuting attorney’s office, Clallam County Sheriff’s Office and county Juvenile Services, the run will continue west along U.S. Highway 101 into Port Angeles and down to Hollywood Beach.
From there, King will lead anyone who would like to walk with him and the torch along the Discovery Trail to the Old Rayonier Site.
Port Angeles Police Department will complete a run of 4 miles to Four Seasons Ranch where the torch will be carried by sheriff’s office personnel and Lower Elwha Police Officers,
The run continues to Railroad Bridge Park where Sequim police officers will run the torch through the city to the intersection of North Rhodefer Road and West Sequim Bay Road.
At about 1 p.m. they will host a walk for anyone on the east side who would like to show their support. This walk begins at the intersection of Rhodefer and West Sequim Bay and is traditionally led by Sequim Police Chief Sheri Crain.
State Parks personnel will carry the torch and hand it off to Jamestown Tribal Enforcement officers who will carry it to the Longhouse.
The Clallam County Sheriff’s Office will transport the torch from the Longhouse to the junction of U.S. Highway 101 and state Highway 104 to hand off to the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office.
Sheriff’s office personnel, assisted by members of the State Patrol and the Quilcene Fire Department, will carry the torch to the Hood Canal Bridge, said Sgt. Brett Anglin of the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office, who estimated torch-carriers would reach the bridge at about 5 p.m.
Kitsap County personnel will take over the following day, Anglin said.
Runs will converge at Pacific Lutheran University in Tacoma to kick off the Special Olympics Washington State Spring Games on Friday.
The lighting of the cauldron from the torch marks the start of the Games and the beginning of competition for more than 2,000 athletes.
Executive Editor Leah Leach can be reached at 360-417-3530 or at email@example.com.