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Law enforcement run in support of Special Olympics

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The 13th annual Special Olympics Law Enforcement Torch Run set out from Ogdensburg City Hall Friday at 7:30 a.m., headed for Massena.

The run, roughly 36 miles split up into two-mile legs, was organized by Special Olympics New York as part of a fundraiser to support the more than 51,000 athletes across the state who participate in Olympic-style sports.

Peter J. Henry, a six-year veteran of the Ogdensburg Torch Run, said he loves the event.

An Ogdensburg native, Mr. Henry said “it’s good exercise.”

Mr. Henry was also impressed with Friday’s weather which saw sunny skies and temperatures hovering in the mid-60’s in the morning. In the past Mr. Henry said he’s braved much colder and darker weather than Friday’s offerings.

Ogdensburg Mayor William D. Nelson also remarked on the beautiful weather in his opening statements.

“This is a wonderful, wonderful day to kick this off,” he said, before carrying the Olympic Torch to the first athlete.

Mr. Nelson said he is proud of the 13-year tradition the Torch Run has become in Ogdensburg.

“This local Torch Run has raised almost $45,000,” he said.

Roughly 50 athletes with St. Lawrence NYSARC participated in the event, joined throughout the day by employees of state police, Ogdensburg and Riverview Correctional Facilities, St. Lawrence County Sheriff’s Department, police departments in Ogdensburg, Massena and Potsdam and U.S. Customs and Border Protection.

For the 13th year, the opening ceremony at City Hall was also joined by the Ogdensburg Free Academy Jazz Rock Ensemble, directed by Jennifer Cavanaugh, singing the National Anthem.

The Special Olympics State Summer Games will be held this year in Buffalo, with the opening ceremony slated for June 14. SUNY Canton will host the north country regional games today.

Opening ceremonies begin at 9:45 a.m. at the Convocation Athletic and Recreation Center, nicknamed Roos House.

About 175 athletes from St. Lawrence and Franklin counties are expected to participate.

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