Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Special Olympics NJ Law Enforcement Torch Run 2014

Runners and support pose for a picture before beginning the five-mile run.
On Friday, May 30, 2014, police officers from the Bergenfield, Dumont and New Milford Police Departments participated in a leg of the annual Special Olympics NJ Law Enforcement Torch Run, which raises awareness and funds for the Special Olympic games. The runners mustered at 0900 hours near the intersection of New Bridge Road and South Washington Avenue before beginning began their five-mile dash at 0930 hours. They were escorted by a marked Bergenfield PD unit, Bergenfield motorcycle units, Dumont Police unit, as well as the Bergenfield Volunteer Ambulance.

The group of 14 runners headed north on Washington Avenue and made a quick stop in front of the Yeshivat He'Atid school at 139 South Washington Avenue where they were exuberantly greeted by the students and morahs. Holding a banner, flags and specially made signs with the Bergenfield Police Department patch, the students cheered and "high-fived" the law enforcement runners and then posed for a photo.
Runners receive support from the children of Yeshivat He'Atid.
The run continued on Washington Avenue through the central business district area up to another quick stop in front of TD Bank, 126 North Washington Avenue. At TD, the runners were refreshed with water and greetings from the bank employees led by bank manager, Bettina Fowler. After the TD stop, the run continued on North Washington past Borough Hall and into the Borough of Dumont where Dumont Police Lieutenant, and runner, Frank Gagliardi took the lead with the torch 
TD Bank employees provide water to the runners.
Thanks to the assistance of the Dumont Police, the runners were safely escorted onto Madison Avenue where the pace picked up as the run headed west towards New Milford.
Dumont  Lt. Frank Gagliardi carries the torch.
With the assistance of the New Milford Police safely blocking the intersections, the runners approached Madison Avenue and River Road, slowed the pace and readied for a greeting and quick stop that was hosted by The Celtic Kitchen, 366 River Road, New Milford. After a photo was taken with the staff, the run continued south on River Road heading towards the destination of the New Milford Borough Hall

Before the final destination was reached, the group was treated by the employees of  New Milford ShopRite to more refreshments consisting of water, Gatorade and fresh fruit to give them that last bit of energy to finish strong.
Celtic Kitchen staff in New Milford welcomes runners for a break.

As the run started up for its final half-mile, New Milford Chief Frank Papapietro took the torch lead and swiftly ran past the Borough Hall and into the rear parking area where the 2014 Law Enforcement Torch Run, Leg # 6A, came to its final triumphant end. With a successful completion, the runners received congratulatory and heartfelt applause from Jim McKeever, retired Port Authority Police Officer and untiring supporter of the Special Olympics.

The monies raised from donations goes towards the Special Olympic games that are held in June each year at their sports complex in Lawrenceville.

Employees of New Milford ShopRite offer fruit, water and Gatorade to runners.

Special Olympics New Jersey http://www.sonj.org/special-olympics-info/

Who We Are
Special Olympics New Jersey is an organization dedicated to bringing pride into the lives of all involved. We are a not-for-profit, 501(c)3 organization that provides sports training and athletic competition to children and adults with intellectual disabilities. The organization operates on an annual budget primarily funded through individual, corporate, civic and foundation dollars that make up more than 98% of the annual operating budget.

All programs are free to registered athletes including insurance, facilities, equipment, uniforms, housing and meals for events, awards, sports, education and more. In addition to programs offered on the local, county, sectional and state levels, Special Olympics New Jersey offers athletes free participation in all activities at the Special Olympics New Jersey Sports Complex in Lawrenceville.

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