Over 600 members of Maine Law Enforcement and military personnel will participate in this year's torch run across the state of Maine, carrying the Flame of Hope to raise funds for Special Olympics Maine.

Sgt Joey Seeley of the Presque Isle Police Department organized this year’s torch run from Fort Kent to Mars Hill. Runners included members of local Police departments, Border Patrol, Maine Forest Rangers, Game Wardens along with local athletes.

Seeley says the Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics is the largest fundraiser for Special Olympics in the state and last year's run raised over $300,000.

According to Sgt Seeley, County authorities mailed letters to local businesses asking for donations. The departments typically pull in anywhere from $1,500 to $3,000.

Special Olympics Maine public relations spokesperson Lisa Bird told us the Special Olympics Maine annual budget is $1M. Their yearly budget doesn’t include the allowance to add new programs or athletes. The money from the torch run allows extra freedom and flexibility.

This year's Special Olympics opening ceremonies begin with a parade at 6:00pm Friday night in Orono.

Special Olympics Maine hosts 64 events throughout the state of Maine every year.

For more information on the Maine Law Enforcement Torch Run please call Lisa Bird at SOME at (207) 879-0489 or email Lisa at lisab@somaine.org.