The Special Olympics torch will arrive at the north end of Mountaineer Field between 2:30-3 p.m. Friday, June 9. By then it will have been carried across most of the state with some 200 people involved in its transport from nearly one end of the state to the other.
The torch leaves Huntington on Wednesday, carried by West Virginia state troopers and others through Parkersburg by Thursday, then on to Clarksburg and Morgantown.
Leading up to the summer games opening ceremonies at Mountaineer Field on Friday at 8 p.m., the torch will be carried from the Clarksburg area at about 11:45 a.m. up I-79 and I-68 to Sabraton, where it will pass Hardee’s restaurant, sponsor of the event. Then its downtown to Walnut Street, up University Avenue and Monongahela Boulevard, down Patteson, past the Hardee’s on Chestnut Ridge Road and on to Mountaineer Field.
Five Morgantown police officers, a state trooper from Fairmont and Jeff Burdoff, Morgantowns assistant city manager, will participate in the Clarksburg-to-the-stadium leg of the run. Coordinating the runners is Gina Panico, patrol officer first class, who has been a part of the event for the past five years.
“The children and youth with Special Olympics are just what it says, special. They can touch your heart faster than anybody else youd meet in your lifetime,”she said.”They are hard workers: theres an energy that exudes from them, and its great to be a part of this. They deserve so much.”
Panico said the torch runners are taking donations on behalf of Special Olympics. Anyone who would like to contribute should call 284-7468. This is WVUs third year of sponsoring the statewide summer games. Call 1-888-988-2269 to volunteer.