Law enforcement raise funds for Special Olympics
By Scott Bellile
Law enforcement throughout Waupaca County made another 18-mile trek by foot and bicycle in support of Special Olympics Wisconsin.
In the Region 4 Law Enforcement Torch Run on Thursday, June 9, more than 15 participants ran or rode from Riverside Park in New London to Riverside Park in Waupaca for various distances ranging from several miles to the entire journey from. The fundraiser event culminates with a torch lighting at the Special Olympics Wisconsin State Summer Games.
Athletes represented Waupaca County Sheriff’s Department, New London Police Department and Marion. Several friends and spouses also took part.
Cpt. Chris Gregory with New London Police Department said he’s done the Torch Run on and off throughout his 22 years with NLPD. He said this year participants ran a new route along County Highway X and White Lake, a route safer than the former one along State Highway 54.
“It’s much more scenic,” Gregory added. “The public is more than welcome to come.”
Participants who wish to advance farther than Waupaca continue on to the torch lighting ceremony at the Summer Games at UW-Stevens Point that night. Al Kraeger, chief deputy with Waupaca County Sheriff’s Department and a 26-year Torch Run participant, said officers there form a tunnel for the Olympians and give them high-fives.
“If someone’s never seen it, they should attend,” Kraeger said. “It’s recommended, just to watch the excitement on the kids’ faces. It’s rewarding.”
The dollar amount Waupaca County’s athletes raised is not yet available. But the public can donate to the cause year-round at specialolympicswisconsin.org.