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By Emily Carson, ’14
Western New York Law Enforcement Officials and Special Olympics New York will honor New York State Trooper Ross M. Riley during a memorial leg of the 2014 Law Enforcement Torch Run, beginning in Lincoln Park in Olean and ending at St. Bonaventure University.
For the 28th year in New York state, law enforcement officers will be carrying the Special Olympics Torch throughout various communities leading up to Opening Ceremonies at the State Summer Games. The cauldron will be lit on June 15 in Buffalo, signifying the opening of the 2014 State Summer Games.
At 8:30 a.m. on Thursday, April 24, the torch will begin its journey in Lincoln Park on the corner of Union and State Street in Olean, and will end at the Reilly Center on campus in honor of Trooper Riley. St. Bonaventure is also partnering with Special Olympics New York to host a Special Olympics Unified Competition on campus the same day.
A 17-year veteran of the force and beloved member of the community, Riley, 44, was killed during a rappelling rescue training exercise at Letchworth State Park in November 2013.
Members from Olean and Cuba Police, St. Bonaventure’s ROTC, Cattaraugus and Chautauqua County Sheriffs, and New York State Troopers will participate in this year’s run.
The Torch Run will also reach Amherst, Jamestown, Batavia, Niagara Falls, Hamburg, Clarence, uptown and downtown Buffalo, Tonawanda, Canisius College and the University at Buffalo.
The Law Enforcement Torch Run (LETR) is the largest grassroots fundraising and public awareness vehicle for Special Olympics in the world. In addition to carrying the “Flame of Hope” to their local and state Special Olympic games, law enforcement officials organize and conduct additional fundraising initiatives such as Polar Plunges, merchandise sales and golf outings.
The Summer Games are the largest of three annual state games with more than 4,000 competitive experiences held each year throughout New York. More than 1,600 athletes and coaches from around the state will travel to Buffalo for the competition. This is the seventh time in 28 years that the games will be hosted in Western New York.
About the University: The nation’s first Franciscan university, St. Bonaventure University cultivates graduates who are confident and creative communicators, collaborative leaders and team members, and innovative problem solvers who are respectful of themselves, others, and the diverse world around them. We are establishing pathways to internships, graduate schools and careers in the context of our renowned liberal arts tradition. Our students are becoming extraordinary.
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