By Alan Sorensen
The Montana Special Olympics Torch will pass through Havre on its 1,000 mile journey around the state May 5-12.
More than 400 Montana officers will lace up their running shoes or hop on a bike to take part in the Law Enforcement Torch Run. Theyll carry the Flame of Hope from six points of Montana to Bozeman for the Opening Ceremonies of the State Summer Games May 12 at MSU Brick Breeden Field House.
Officers from Havre and Hill County will begin running the torch from Tire-Rama on West First Street at 8 a.m. Friday, May 7. Theyll run south on U.S. Highway 87 to a Fort Benton turnoff, according to leg leader Sgt. Randy Robinson of the Havre Police Department, and conclude their leg of the journey to Great Falls on May 8.
Robinson said the public is invited to come down to Tire-Rama to wish the torch runners well on their journey with the Flame of Hope.
Along each of the routes, officers raise funds and public awareness for Special Olympics Montana athletes through donations and T-shirt sales. In its 14th year, the LETRSOMT is growing with the run accompanied by year-round special events such as the Penguin Plunge, building and billboard sits, and tip-a-cops.
Tire-Rama/Cooper Tires are the premier sponsors of the run, having made a 3-year, $30,000 commitment to the run.
Other sponsors include the Montana Police Protective Association, Montana Highway Patrol Association, Kampgrounds of America (KOA), Montana Good Sams, and Rocky Mountain Images.
Special Olympian of the Year Eddie Stansberry of Missoula and Attorney General Joe Mazurek will carry the torch on its final leg into the MSU stadium. Theyll then light the Olympic cauldron with the Flame of Hope to signal the beginning of the Games.
Representatives from throughout the law enforcement community will salute the torchbearers on their way to Olympic Mountain.
Law Enforcement Torch Runs throughout the world all 50 states and 31 countries attract more than 100,000 participating officers.
Additionally this year, representatives from every Torch Run program in the world will participate in the world run of the Flame of Hope from Athens, Greece to North Carolina for the start of the 1999 Special Olympics World Summer Games.
Montanas representative for the final-leg team is Steve McCollum of the Yellowstone County Sheriffs Department in Billings.
The World Games final leg will give law enforcement the world over the chance to display its commitment and love for their heroes the athletes of Special Olympics.
T-shirts will be sold and donations will be accepted along the route, but people can also make contributions to the Torch Run and buy T-shirts at the Havre Police Department.
For more information, call Robinson at 265-4361.