Officers ready for annual Special Olympics Torch Run

UNION — There are many in the Union Police Department that can’t wait to hit the streets at the end of the month. But not for catching criminals or writing parking tickets.

On May 30, officers will be participating in the township’s leg of the annual Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics New Jersey.

“Since 1996, the Union Police Department has been doing this torch run,” said Sgt. Michael Boll. “It’s a three-mile run and it kicks off ceremonies for the state Special Olympics. We pass the torch off to Millburn.”

According to Boll, the torch will travel throughout New Jersey until it arrives in Trenton to signal the beginning of the 2014 Special Olympics New Jersey Summer Games.

But in addition to the torch run in Union, there will also be a luncheon fundraiser following the event at Union’s Red Cadillac restaurant from noon to 4 p.m.

“It’s a wonderful thing that our officers are able to come out every year on their own time,” Boll said, “and run the first leg of the Torch Run. Also, it’s great to have the continued support from businesses and organization in our township and to have their continued generosity and caring.”

The Special Olympics aims “to provide year-round sports training and athletic competition in a variety of Olympic-type sports for children and adults with intellectual disabilities, giving them continuing opportunities to develop physical fitness, demonstrate courage, experience joy and participate in a sharing of gifts, skills and friendship with their families, other Special Olympics athletes and the community,” according to their website.

“The Union Police Department has sponsored and assisted with the Special Olympics for many years and this is just one event where our officers can make a huge difference in so many lives,” said Boll.

Tickets to the post-torch run luncheon ae $30 and includes a buffet lunch and one complimentary drink.
In addition to the annual torch run, a second fund raising event for Special Olympics is planned for June.

On June 27, according to Boll, many officers will be competing in a biathlon, and some will even participate in a triathlon.
“There is a triathlon and a biathlon,” said Boll. “Officers can either run a half marathon and ride fifty miles on a stationary bike at Metro Gym, or they can run six miles and do 20 miles on the bike. Some officers will also do a mile swim. It’s called the Man of Steel Challenge.”

The June event will also feature a post-event fundraiser at Red Cadillac in Union. Additional details about the event are forthcoming.