Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics Minnesota

The Special Olympics flame is visiting the North Shore tonight, and Duluth later this week.

The Flame of Hope started its journey across Minnesota at the U.S./Canada border Monday morning. Law enforcement agencies from across the state escorted the flame down from the shore, where it reached Grand Marais Monday afternoon.

"Not only does the community get to come and see my students, and invest in them — they also get to donate and raise awareness through Special Olympics," shared Melissa Oberg, a special education teacher at Cook County Schools. "It just brings everybody together."

"These are kids from the school, we got the Cook County Cross Country Team," shared Chief Depty Will Sandstrom with the Cook County Sheriff’s Department. "We got regular students from the school, we got the special needs kids from the school, we have members of law enforcement — not only with the Sheriff’s Office, we also have DNR, Game Wardens, people that just joined, and even people, citizens who called up and just wanted to partake in some of the fun."

Special Olympics Minnesota has been doing this Torch Run since 1981, before Special Olympics had the huge recognition that it does today. Fast forward to now, and it grows bigger and bigger each year.

"What this really means to us and my students is inclusivity," shared Oberg. "This event not only symbolizes what Special Olympics Unified Club does — which is bring everybody together — but we are actually physically walking together. And I just think that’s really- the meaningful part of this whole torch run, and Special Olympics in general."

The Flame of Hope is spending the night in Tofte, and will reach Duluth on Wednesday.

The Torch Run is the largest grassroots fundraiser and public awareness vehicle for Special Olympics in the world.