An unusual streak of light can be seen on state highways this week trekking toward the West Virginia University Coliseum where it will arrive at approximately 11 a.m Friday, June 7.
Its the Special Olympics West Virginia Flame of Hope, and its WVU arrival signifies the start of the 2002 Summer Games.
A contingency of police officers have been carrying the torch from statewide locations throughout the week, said Gina Panico, Morgantown Police Officer and coordinator of the Morgantown contingency.
“It started in Huntington on Tuesday (June 4), she said.”From there it traveled to Ripley and from Ripley to Clarksburg and now on to Morgantown.”
At 10 a.m. Friday, officers will run the torch from the Sabraton Hardees, through Morgantown, arriving at the WVU Coliseum around 11 a.m., she added.
At 8 p.m. that evening, Wayne County Special Olympic athlete John Moore and Charleston Police Officer John Frazier will carry the torch into the Coliseum during opening ceremonies, signifying the official start of the Summer Games.
“I am very excited to be the one chosen to run the torch in,”Moore said.”It is an incredible honor, and I think it is a good thing for the people of Wayne County.”
The Law Enforcement Torch Run raises funds for and public awareness of Special Olympics. Law enforcement officers from every state and more than 30 countries carry the Flame of Hope in honor of Special Olympics athletes in their area and worldwide.
A statewide contingency of police officers from Morgantown, Beckley, Charleston, Clarksburg, Huntington, Parkersburg and Wheeling are participating in this years run.
To donate to the torch run, call Diane Chapman, 1-800-926-1616.