On September 24, 2016 RRT volunteers from Redwood Falls, Minnesota arrived at Legion Park to assist at the Law Enforcement Torch Run. This event consisted of two marathon routes of 5K and 10K in length. It was organized by a local police officer and a staff member of Special Olympics Minnesota. This annual event helps fund and support the athletes of the Special Olympics in Minnesota and is the largest grassroots fundraiser and public awareness vehicle for the Special Olympics in the World.
The Special Olympics Minnesota (SOMN) Program supports more than 8,000 people with intellectual disabilities by helping them gain new experiences and become confident by their accomplishments. This also offers them a lifelong bond with fellow athletes and a community of volunteers and coaches. By welcoming people with and without intellectual disabilities, the SOMN creates an accepting and inclusive environment for everyone.
At the event, the RRT tent became the check in point for over 70 runners! One of these many runners was the local police officer who was helping to organize the event. RRT had relieved him of some of his duties for the day and as an avid runner he was not only able to participate in the event but win the 10k run. He later mentioned that he had not been expecting to be able to run so he had eaten doughnuts for breakfast!
The passionate support of Special Olympics was apparent as contestants made their way through the city and park. RRT set up multiple check points where water and words of encouragement were given to the runners.
After the run, there was a lunch of brat sausages, chips, and beverages provided for the entrants but RRT’s work was done. The local officers and event management expressed their gratefulness repeatedly and asked RRT to come back next year to help make the event bigger and better.