Surrey Mounties hold a torch for Special Olympics

Surrey Mounties and Special Olympics athletes laced up for the 33rd annual Law Enforcement Torch Run in support of Special Olympics B.C. on Wednesday (May 24).

The event raises money and awareness of Special Olympics B.C. from May 20 to June 4 this year. Various organizations participate, including municipal police, RCMP and other law enforcement throughout the province.

The very first Law Enforcement Torch Run was held in June 1981 in Wichita, Kansas, with six police officers, and the fundraiser now takes place annually around the world.

In Surrey, Wednesday’s 1.45-kilometre run started and ended at the Surrey RCMP main detachment on 144 Street.

Superintendent Aaron Paradis, Surrey RCMP community services officer, told the Now-Leader they are proud to partner with Special Olympics BC for this event.

“All the funds raised go to Special Olympics and their sporting events, so that has a huge impact,” Paradis said.

Donations help support year-round health, youth and sports programs so athletes with intellectual disabilities can play the sports they love.

Donations from the torch run have helped register more than 5,200 athletes in 55 communities across the province, according to the B.C. Special Olympics website.

The Law Enforcement Torch Run has raised over $5 million in B.C. since 1990, including $25,000. Globally over $900 million has been raised.

In February, the Surrey RCMP plunged into the frigid waters off Crescent Beach for Special Olympics BC. The event raised over $8,000.

RELATED: Surrey RCMP, firefighters, athletes brave icy waters in support of Special Olympics

During the run, law enforcement and/or Special Olympic athletes carry the Flame of Hope. This flame is also carried by members of law enforcement and Special Olympic athletes at opening ceremonies of competitions.

“Annually, more than 100,000 dedicated and compassionate law enforcement members carry the “Flame of Hope,” symbolizing courage and celebration of diversity uniting communities around the globe,” the LETR states.

To find out more or to donate visit letr.crowdchange.ca and search SURREY TORCH RUN.

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