Sep. 18—PLATTSBURGH — The 2021 Law Enforcement Torch Run shined a light on the Special Olympics Friday.
A group of 85 participants ran as a unit down Route 3 from Champlain Valley Educational Services in the Town of Plattsburgh to City Hall in downtown Plattsburgh City, raising money and awareness.
The Torch Run is in partnership between law enforcement, local school districts and the town and city of Plattsburgh.
The annual event, which was smaller in size due to the pandemic last year, raises about $5,000 to support Special Olympics athletes of the North Country.
"It went great," Chris Hughes, Special Olympics New York's director of development for the North Country and the Capital Region, said. "It's super emotional when you see everybody come together for the common cause of the athlete."
New York has 51,000 athletes annually participate in the games across 22 different sporting events.
It costs $500 per athlete for the 12-week season, so an event like Friday's Torch Run could send 10 athletes to the Special Olympics.
"I started as a coach," Hughes said. "Four years ago, we started a power lifting team. You go and you watch these athletes give everything they have to their sport and to getting better and to going to the state games — you can't help but want to do more.
"It's incredible to see them train, to see them compete. They deserve every opportunity that anybody else deserves and the Special Olympics does that; it gives them that."
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