A nice-sized contingent of law officers and Bitterroot Special Olympians paraded along one lane of US 93 through Hamilton Saturday as part of the Law Enforcement Torch Run to support the Summer Special Olympics. The torch started in Darby with officers bringing it to the south end of Hamilton in about two hours. There, local athletes were loaded onto a truck and other walked and ran with the officers, surrounded by emergency and law vehicles along a northbound lane of the highway. They stopped at the Ravalli County Search and Rescue building on the north end of town for a barbeque and send-off of the torch - with officers taking it along the highway to Florence.

The torch route takes it to Missoula, where runners from Northwest Montana join up and the path heads east and then north to Great Falls for the State Special Olympics competition with this year's theme "Rise Above the Roar." The Montana Summer Games will be May 15-18 with 11 sports and over 1,000 competitors. Hundreds of volunteers will help in every aspect of the three-day event.

The support activities continue. Neptune Aviation in Missoula will have a "Plane Pull" June 2nd, which is a tug-of-war fund-raiser between six-person teams, attempting to pull an aircraft a certain distance as quickly as possible.

special olympians
Carrying the Torch. (Steve Fullerton, Townsquare Media)

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