Flame Of Hope: Local Leg Of Torch Run Held In City

Participants of the Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics New York are pictured Wednesday morning in Jamestown. P-J photo by Eric Tichy

Basking in the morning sun, participants on Wednesday helped kick off the local leg of the Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics New York.

Named after Stephen Fardink, who passed away in April 2017, the local leg began outside the Jamestown Municipal Building before making its way past Jamestown High School and then toward Northwest Arena, the National Comedy Center and back to city hall.

Leading the way at the beginning was Justin Latimer, a multi-sport participant in Special Olympics New York, and Capt. Robert Samuelson of the Jamestown Police Department. The two have carried the Flame of Hope in past torch runs.

According to Special Olympics New York, the Law Enforcement Torch Run brings together nearly 6,000 police and peace officers from about 500 agencies in a 56-leg relay that carries the Flame of Hope across the state each year. These “Guardians of the Flame” team up with Special Olympics athletes to symbolize courage and celebrate diversity, the organization states on its website.

The Torch Run is Special Olympics’ largest fundraiser and public awareness event; it generates more than $2 million each year in contributions in New York alone, providing training, equipment, venues, uniforms and transportation for athletes.


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