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June 17, 2009 > Let there be light

Let there be light

Law enforcement torch run: a prelude to Summer Special Olympics

Each year, torches bearing a "Flame of Hope" travel throughout Northern California on an extraordinary mission. These beacons of light destined for the opening ceremonies of the Summer Special Olympics move along three separate "torch run" routes until they merge just prior to reaching the steps of the State Capitol in Sacramento. United, they begin the final leg of their journey ending at the University of California, Davis for opening ceremonies at Aggie Stadium on the evening of Friday, June 26. A "Wall of Honor" composed of personnel from law enforcement agencies throughout Northern California will greet the flame as it approaches its final destination and finally lights a cauldron signaling the beginning of the games.

Over 1,000 developmentally disabled children and adults throughout Northern California will share the excitement, honor and respect of the summer games. Enthusiastic support by over 3,000 law enforcement personnel celebrates their year-long efforts to raise money and awareness for Special Olympics events. Since 1995 Northern California Law Enforcement personnel raised over $8.5 million for Special Olympics activities and take pride in carrying the torch of enlightenment as its "guardian" through the streets of their communities. This year athletes will compete in aquatics, bocce ball, tennis and track & field.

The Special Olympics Southern Torch Run begins its journey on Thursday, June 18 in King City and will travel through Monterey County linking with San Benito and Santa Cruz Counties. On Monday, June 22, the flame will divide along three separate paths: southern, eastern and northern routes. The Southern Route will be the responsibility of Bay Area law enforcement agencies as it follows simultaneous paths along the Peninsula and East Bay. Milpitas Police will share responsibility for the flame passing it to Fremont Police for a night's rest before continuing its journey on Tuesday morning. Resuming its progress in the City of Fremont, the East Bay torch will be passed to law enforcement agencies of Union City, Hayward, BART, Castro Valley, Alameda County, San Leandro and Oakland.

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