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Wednesday, May 22, 2024
HomeUncategorizedLake County Law Enforcement Torch Run…. Re-Run

Lake County Law Enforcement Torch Run…. Re-Run

I was chatting with Lake County Sheriff Nathan Sadler about another news article when he asked, “Say, are you the one who did the article on the Torch Run?” Right then I knew, after I said yes, he would either say he liked the article or that I messed up some­where in my reporting. Turns out it was both and boy did I mess up!

“It was a good article, the only thing I would say is that you left out Two Harbors PD,” Sheriff Sadler said, explaining to me that Two Harbors Police Department was the main agency that organized the event. “Their officers are the ones that did most of the leg work for that.”

D’oh! You know that feeling you get when you make a pretty dumb mistake? Multiply that by two, or maybe six, when a sheriff points it out.

The run was IN Two Harbors, after all, yet the article I wrote read, “The fifth annual Lake County Law Enforcement Torch Run brings the Lake County Sheriff’s Office and the Silver Bay Police Department together with the community to raise money for the Special Olympics.”

I quickly got in touch with Two Harbors Police Officer Sean Jones, who took lead in organizing the event this year, and told him how awful I felt about the error. Luckily, he was extremely kind and understanding. He was happy to give me a second shot to get it right and raise more awareness about the run and what it supports. “Hopefully we’ll get even more people next time,” he said.

The number of participants grew this year with over one hundred runners, walkers, and riders. “There was a big jump in participa­tion this year compared to last year,” Officer Jones stated. That “big jump” of individuals and families that took part, and the commu­nity businesses that supported the event and made donations to the cause, made it possible for the department to raise over $7,300 for the Special Olympics. “After covid, we’re trying to get those numbers back up. It’s so nice to see the community getting around it and back out there.”

Funds raised help Special Olympic Athletes pay for meals, jerseys, medals, transportation to the games, and much more. Registered participants could choose the amount to do­nate and went home with a t-shirt or hat and bellies full of great food (served by Clayton Alborn of the Green Door in Beaver Bay and Dan and Kaylee Cahill Mathews from the Baptism River Barbeque Company).

The Law Enforcement Torch Run is a big deal throughout the world. According to the organization’s website, it is the “Larg­est public awareness vehicle and grassroots fundraisers for the Special Olympics.” More than 100,000 law enforcement officers carry the ‘Flame of Hope’ in torch runs around the globe. The popular Polar Plunge is also pre­sented by the Law Enforcement Torch Run in January – May at various sites around the state.

I asked Officer Jones who won the race. Everyone did! “It’s mainly just for fun and to raise awareness,” he replied. He ran with the Special Olympic Athletes and then dou­bled back to run with his five-year-old son. “I think he was excited,” he said, though that excitement may have been more for the bouncy house set up at the picnic after the run was complete. Kids and those bouncy hous­es, I tell ya.

I was able to stop by the event and it was an uplifting and cheerful atmosphere. Every­one was smiling, chatting, and having a fun time. Music was playing, courtesy of Houley and Mo DJ and Karaoke, and kids were gig­gling in the beforementioned bouncy house. I left the picnic uplifted and grateful to be in a community that gets involved in causes that matter.

Officer Jones is grateful to the businesses who gave generous donations and for the community. The success, according to him, “wouldn’t have been possible without the willingness of the community to step up and help.”

Planning has already begun for next year’s Law Enforcement Torch Run. Volunteers are always welcome, and everyone is encouraged to participate in the run in 2024!

A big thank you to Officer Jones for taking the lead in organizing the run this year and for forgiving my error. Thank you to the Two Harbors PD for raising donations and thank you to the Lake County Sheriff’s Department and Silver Bay Police Department for help­ing out, as well. Thank you to the businesses and the community who supported the cause.

To donate to or learn more about the inter­national Law Enforcement Torch Run orga­nization, visit letr.org.

Feel free to contact me at sarahwritesnsj@yahoo.com with any news we should news about!

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