The public safety officials volunteered their time and energy to help carry the Special Olympics Rhode Island "Flame of Hope" on its way to the State Summer Games' opening ceremonies at the University of Rhode Island this weekend. The torch is carried throughout the state to bring awareness to Special Olympics Rhode Island.
Participating in the torch run on Friday afternoon were Portsmouth Fire Chief Jeffrey P. Lynch; Third Class firefighters Gretchen Ardito and Thomas Rousseau; and Portsmouth police officer Bill Burns.
Joining the Portsmouth team were Tiverton firefighters Bruce Reimels, Cipriano Luiano, Doug Hammond and Jay Andrade; Scott Campbell of the Charlestown Police Department; Mike Faria, Josh Mello and Jean Young of the Middletown Police Department; Tyler Denniston, North Kingstown Police Department; and Joe Carroll, Mark Matoes and Jack Kliever of the Newport Police Department.
The run began at the Mt. Hope Animal Hospital on Bristol Ferry Road and continued its way down Turnpike Avenue to East Main Road and to the Portsmouth Fire Department. The run will continue all the way to Newport, crossing the Pell Bridge, and continue to the university.
There are five legs in the Torch Run, beginning in Woonsocket. The East Bay Leg begins in East Providence and continues to Rt. 138 in South Kingstown, where runners from Westerly, Charlestown and South Kingstown all meet for the Final Leg into Meade Stadium at the University of Rhode Island.
More than 35 police departments, fire departments, along with the Rhode Island State Police and Rhode Island Correctional officer, will participate in Friday's torch run.
The Law Enforcement Torch Run is part of an international campaign for Special Olympics coordinated and managed by all divisions of Law Enforcement officers and officials throughout the world, whose mission is to raise dollars and awareness of the Special Olympics Movement worldwide.
For more information about Special Olympics Rhode Island or the torch run, click here.