Mounties’ Torch Run supports Special Olympians

Nanaimo Mounties took a lap around the water front to support special olympic last week.

A pass forward from teammate Kevin Baldwin

A pass forward from teammate Kevin Baldwin

Nanaimo Mounties took a lap around the water front to support special olympic last week.

About 40 special olympians, police officers and supporters turned out to Maffeo Sutton Park at noon Friday for the Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics.

The event included a five-kilometre walk/run around the Waterfront Promenade followed by a barbecue, sponsored by Save-On-Foods, and cops versus special athletes competitions on the park’s play field.

The event raised $800, which will help cover costs to send Nanaimo Special Olympians Crystal Thompson and her husband Ray Lappalainen to the Special Olympics World Summer Games in Athens, Greece, June 25 to July 4.

This is the first torch run for Special Olympics hosted in Nanaimo in years and police want to make it a major annual event.

“It’s more about raising awareness,” said Const. Gary O’Brien, Nanaimo RMCP spokesman. “Very few people know what the LETR is. It’s huge on the Lower Mainland and in other provinces, but because it had such a hiatus here the key is to get the momentum going again.”