HELENA – Another round of Special Olympic Games are set to begin next week in Great Falls.
This week the Special Olympic Flame is making its way across the Treasure State escorted by Montana law officers.
The Helena leg of the torch run got an early and damp start at MHP Headquarters, where class 165 of the Montana Law Enforcement Academy carried the torch during a ceremonial run.
“These students that I am very proud of have raised $4,000 for this event today,” said Scott Sterland, MLEA Program Manager.
The torch relay then picked up in Boulder along I-15 just after 10:00am Friday.
Strong winds greeted the runners, and made it difficult to light the torch.
However, the rough weather didn’t deter these determined runners.
“The athletes – the only reason we do it is for the athletes,” said Helena Police Detective Domingo Zapata.
“They inspire us, they give us hope, and we want to be able to give what we can back to them.”
Helena Police Department Officer Sean Schoenfeld agreed. “I think it’s just a great way to build relationships within our community.”
A law enforcement career can test your character in the toughest way possible. But that career also gives officers a chance to give back to the communities they serve.
“It’s a good group of officers that are coming out of the academy here at the end of June,” said Sterland. “I couldn’t be more proud of them being involved in this event.”
“To show people there is a positive side to our job and that we’re not always there for the negative things,” said Officer Schoenfeld.
The torch relay will continue on its way to Great Falls on Monday.
The summer games begin Wednesday in the Electric City.