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Centre County Police Officers Will Deliver Torch to Special Olympics Opening Ceremonies

by on June 02, 2014 6:35 AM

The annual Special Olympics Torch Run begins Monday and Centre County police officers will run the final leg, bringing the torch to the opening ceremonies.

Police officers from throughout Pennsylvania participate in an annual torch run, which starts in Pittsburgh and will end Thursday, roughly 150 miles later, at Penn State University.

More than 400 police officers from 56 teams across the state will participate by carrying the torch from home plate at PNC Park in Pittsburgh to home plate at Medlar Field to kick-off the 45th Annual Summer Games.

Ferguson Township police Sgt. Ryan Hendrick helps coordinate the Torch Run in Centre County.

"The Special Olympics Torch Run is a wonderful opportunity for officers to help bring awareness of the event to other community members," says Hendrick. "Police officers have chosen to be in the public service profession because they care about their community and all the members within in it."

Local officers will carry the torch into the opening ceremony and hand it off to several athletes who will then light the main torch officially starting the ceremonies.

"The Special Olympics is a tremendous event with amazing athletes," says Hendrick. "I remain involved in the event every year and will continue to do so as I am amazed each year at what these athletes can do and all of the support they have from family and community members."

The games, sponsored by Sheetz, will be held Thursday through Saturday with more than more than 2,000 athletes, 750 coaches and 2,500 volunteers. There will be events in aquatics, athletics, basketball, bowling, equestrian sports, golf, gymnastics, softball and tennis.

Kellie Goodman Shaffer, executive director for the Bedford County Chamber of Commerce, will host the opening ceremonies.

For more information about the event, click HERE.

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Jennifer Miller is a reporter for StateCollege.com. She has worked in journalism since 2005. She's covered news at the local, state and national level with an emphasis on crime and local government.
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