Special Olympics torch passes through Laguna, Newport-Mesa

The Special Olympics Torch Run made its way through Newport-Mesa en route to UC Irvine and other parts of Orange County on Thursday.

Laguna Beach public safety members passed the torch to Newport Beach police, who in turned handed it off to Costa Mesa police.

"As an organization we feel honored to be a part of the Special Olympics Torch Run," said Newport Beach Police Department spokeswoman Kathy Lowe. "It was wonderful to see the community come out this morning to support our runners and Special Olympics."

Each year officers and athletes run the Flame of Hope to the opening ceremony of local Special Olympics competitions, according to a news release. The run was created in 1981 in response to a need to fundraise and build awareness.

— Jamie Rowe and Joanna Clay

Twitter: @jamierowe3, @joannaclay

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