By Alan Sorensen
by Alan Sorensen
The Havre Daily News
Friday, May 7
Thirteen law enforcement officers gathered at Tire-Rama on West First Street shortly before 8 a.m. today and headed south toward Great Falls afoot.
Actually, only two runners carried the torch on the first one-mile leg of the 113-mile trip to the Electric City. Sgt. Stan Martin of the Havre Police Department and Dean Wilkinson, Hill County Jail detention officer, carried the Montana Special Olympics torch up U.S. Highway 2 and across the Hill County Fairgrounds hill.
Other officers prepared to do their turns singly during the 14th annual Law Enforcement Torch Run included Hill County Sheriff Tim Solomon, Undersheriff Don Brostrom, Deputy Peter Federspiel, and Deputy Jay Miller; Sgt. Russ Ostwalt, Sr. Patrolman Bill Wilkinson, Patrolman Gabe Matosich, and run director Sgt. Randy Robinson, all of the Havre PD; Hill County Jail detention officers Jamie Ross and Bill Human; and U.S. Border Patrol Officer Stuart Small filled out the field.
Joining Martin and Wilkinson for the first few blocks were Havre Special Olympians Wayne Morsette, Alisha Stiffarm, Janet Morsette, and Mitchell Grubb.
Support for the trip was provided by two Havre Good Sams: Lloyd Kaercher and Jack Campbell, who are accompanying the runners in their motor homes. Runners are riding in the motor homes between their turns on foot.
Kaercher said each of the motor homes was chocked full of beverages to keep the runners fresh.
A Havre Police Department cruiser carrying three police bicycles also joined the parade as some of the legs of the journey will be completed by officers on two wheels.
Two dozen sandwiches for the first day of the journey were donated by the North Central Senior Citizens Center.
The runners are expected to near Fort Benton before the end of the day today and will resume their assault on the roadway early Saturday morning. They expect to reach Great Falls tomorrow evening.
The Montana Special Olympics Torch will have traveled about 1,000 miles around the state on its journey to the State Summer Games at MSU Brick Breeden Field House in Bozeman on May 12.
Tire-Rama/Cooper Tires are the premier sponsors of the run, having made a 3-year, $30,000 commitment to the run. And Good Sams members are providing support along each of the routes.
Other sponsors include the Montana Police Protective Association, Montana Highway Patrol Association, Kampgrounds of America (KOA), and Rocky Mountain Images.
T-shirts are being sold and donations 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 265-4361.