The torch burns on

Laguna Beach Police, Fire and Marine Safety departments ran 5.5 miles Thursday along Coast Highway for the Southern California Special Olympics Torch Run.

During the run, law enforcement and athletes from around the world transport the Flame of Hope to the Opening Ceremony of local Special Olympics competitions, National Summer or Winter Games, and state/provincial games.

Laguna officers began the run at 8 a.m. at the police department on Forest Avenue and ran along Coast Highway to pass it off to Newport Beach police at their station in Newport Center.

Started in Wichita, Kan., in 1981, the run was adopted by the International Assn. of Chiefs of Police and was organized to raise money and give attention to the Special Olympics, which gives special-needs adults the opportunity to compete in athletic games.

According to the Special Olympics website, the Torch Run is their largest grassroots fundraiser, bringing in $34 million in 2008.


—Joanna Clay


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