Local first responders participate in Torch Run for Special Olym - WREX.com – Rockford’s News Leader

Local first responders participate in Torch Run for Special Olympics


It may have been a drizzly Sunday afternoon, but that didn't stop first responders from lacing up their shoes and helping support Special Olympic athletes across the state, including here in the Stateline.

"It's not a perfect day, they don't live a perfect life, they have a lot of challenges, but they grind all the time, and i just think it's really fitting," firefighter and runner Trent Gerber said.

This  weekend was the annual Law Enforcement Torch Run, which helps raise money for Special Olympics  and helps send athletes to the big state tournament.

"A lot of times those families are already stressed financially, so when we can contribute a little drop in the bucket to make a memory for them, it's a given any day of the week," Gerber said.

A drop in the bucket for volunteers, but for athletes, it's a gesture that means the world to them.

"Special Olympics has meant a new life for me," Gavin Morrow said.

Gavin is a Special Olympics athlete, who competes in long-jump and the 400-hundred dash.

"When i get first place, I get to go to state, and I was a state champion two years in a row. 

A title he put to good use on Sunday as he joined police and firefighters on this six mile run.

"They're all just cheering each other on, and just clapping for each other and really rooting for each other and the officer are just really helping the kids along," Gavin's mom Meg Morrow said.

The torch run is the single largest year-round fundraising movement for Special Olympics Illinois. 

Over the past 32 years, it's raised $47 million for the organizations and its athletes. 

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