The Special Olympics Torch Run raises funds to allow 65,000 athletes with intellectual disabilities to compete in the games. The Special Olympics will be in Los Angeles this year.

ITHACA, N.Y. – A police officer ran with a torch through downtown during the first annual Law Enforcement Torch Run for the Special Olympics New York Monday afternoon in Ithaca.

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Officer Kyle Paolangeli carried the torch out of the opening ceremony around 2:45 p.m. in front of the Ithaca Police Department on East Clinton Street.

The “Flame of Hope” is being held by various people for about 12 miles to Taughannock Falls Monday afternoon, officials said. About two dozen law enforcement officials from the IPD, Cornell University Police, state police and other agencies are participating in the run.

It’s one of nine legs happening in the region, said Cassandra Rucker, regional Special Olympics director of development.

She said the event is one of many fundraisers throughout the year that enables 65,000 people with intellectual disabilities to compete free of charge in the Special Olympics New York.

FBI Special Agent Joanne Russell stand with runner Tae Hemsath at the first annual Law Enforcement Torch Run for the Special Olympics New York in Ithaca. 
FBI Special Agent Joanne Russell stand with runner Tae Hemsath at the first annual Law Enforcement Torch Run for the Special Olympics New York in Ithaca. 
Ithaca police Officer Kyle Paolangeli runs with the Flame of Hope at the first annual first annual Law Enforcement Torch Run for the Special Olympics New York in Ithaca.
Ithaca police Officer Pat Kimmich runs with his companion Bert in the first annual Special Olympics Torch Run.
The Special Olympics Torch Run raises funds to enable 65,000 athletes with intellectual disabilities to compete in the games. The Special Olympics will be in Los Angeles this year.

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Jolene Almendarez

Jolene Almendarez is Managing Editor at The Ithaca Voice. She can be reached at jalmendarez@ithacavoice.com; you can learn more about her at the links in the top right of this box.