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Police Torch Runs take place across U.P. this week

The run raises money and awareness for Special Olympic athletes
Published: Sep. 14, 2021 at 4:26 PM EDT
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IRON MOUNTAIN, Mich. (WLUC) - The torch was lit Tuesday morning, and more than 50 people joined the run, walk and bike event in Iron Mountain. Four area departments gathered for a community cause - the Law Enforcement Torch Run for the Special Olympics.

“We get together because we want to raise money, and we also want to raise awareness for the athletes in our area because they use that money to go and participate in different events in Michigan,” Geno Basanese, Michigan State Police Trooper.

The event kicked off with a group photo, and then runners made the 1.8 mile journey from Iron Mountain’s State Police Post to the Iron Mountain Police Department.

“It’s not only for the special Olympics, but it’s for all of the activities that we do and participate in,” Basanese said. “It just shows the community coming together.”

Basanese says the Iron Mountain run is one of the biggest in the U.P.

“We got all walks of life here, right? We got people from the community, people from outside the community, we have athletes from the community, and they’re all coming together here, again not only to raise money, but to raise awareness,” Basanese said.

The Iron Mountain Post says troopers have been participating for the last decade, and it keeps growing.

“We did our first one yesterday in Wakefield, today we are doing ours, tonight we will be up in Marquette, and then tomorrow will be in Escanaba, and then the next day will be in Munising,” Basanese said.

The weather smiled nicely upon the event, as the sun started peeking out of what was cloudy skies. Runs are happening all this week across the state. The Flame of Hope Community Runs have surpassed their statewide fundraising goal, raising nearly $80,000 so far.

If you are interested in registering for any of the races or making a donation, you can visit the Flame of Hope website.

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