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Ferndale Police Officer Mike Catrain and his wife, Chris, hand off the Special Olympics torch to a Bellingham Police officer on Portal Way at Brown Road (May 30, 2018). Photo: My Ferndale News

Special Olympics torch will be carried through Ferndale Wednesday

FERNDALE, Wash. — Members of several law enforcement agencies will be running and biking across Washington State as they participate in the annual Law Enforcement Torch Run carrying a torch used to ignite the “Flame of Hope” that watches over the Washington Special Olympics. The route will bring participants and their supporters through Ferndale Wednesday morning, May 29th.

Each year, the torch begins a 150-mile trip to Joint Base Lewis-McChord (JBLM) from the Peace Arch Park at the US/Canadian border.

A torch carrier is expected to reach Custer around 8:30am. From there the route will follow Portal Way to Brown Road and then on to Malloy Road, continuing south past the roundabout by the high school and into downtown Ferndale via Vista Drive. The runner and supporters will then take 3rd Avenue to Main Street, Main Street to Hovander Road and follow Hovander Road to W Smith Road and take W Smith Road out of Ferndale. Last-minute route changes are possible.

The torch will be carried during its trip through Whatcom County by representatives from multiple law enforcement agencies including Border Patrol, FBI, Whatcom County Sheriff’s Office and Ferndale Police Department.

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People are encouraged to come out and cheer on the torch carriers.

The statewide Special Olympics Law Enforcement Torch Run follows 3 separate routes. The one through Whatcom County begins at the Canadian border, another begins at the Idaho border and a third begins on the Olympic Peninsula. The three routes meet at the Lakewood Police Department, where the 3 torches are used to light a single torch. This final torch is carried by a Special Olympics athlete into the arena at JBLM and used to open the games by igniting the “Flame of Hope” that burns during the Washington State Special Olympics Spring Games.

According to Special Olympics Washington, nearly 2,000 law enforcement personnel are involved in Washington State LETR efforts and their efforts raise over half a million dollars annually for local programs. Fundraising programs include Plane Pulls, Polar Plunges, Tip-A-Cop and more according to the Special Olympics website.

Organizers say since its beginning in 1981, LETR has raised over several hundred million dollars for Special Olympics programs.

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The 2018 State Spring Games will take place at Pacific Lutheran University, King County Aquatics Center and JBLM. Over 2,000 athletes from throughout the state will compete in swimming, athletics, powerlifting, soccer and cycling competitions.

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