Law enforcement to carry the torch for Special Olympics

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SARASOTA - The 30th Annual Special Olympics Law Enforcement Torch Run will travel through the streets of Sarasota on Friday.

Beginning at 9 a.m., members of the Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office and local Special Olympics athletes will start the trek along U.S. 41 at Beneva Road and head north, continuing past Stickney Point and Proctor roads. At 9:30 a.m., the torch will be passed to the Sarasota Police Department at Paradise Plaza on South Osprey Avenue. From there the torch heads north on US 41 to Main Street and ends at Pineapple Avenue for a celebration in Five Points Park.

Citizens should be aware that traffic delays may occur on U.S. 41 between 9 a.m. and 10 a.m., so drivers may want to avoid the area or plan accordingly.

The goal of the Special Olympics is to help persons with intellectual disabilities to participate as productive and respected members of society by offering a fair opportunity to develop and demonstrate skills and talents through sports training and competition, and by increasing the public’s awareness of their capabilities and needs.

Each year more than 3,000 law enforcement officers carry the torch on a 1,500 mile relay through more than 60 Florida counties.

Anyone interested in contributing to or volunteering with the Special Olympics can call the local office (941) 412-0402 or visit