NEW HANOVER COUNTY, NC (WWAY)– After three weeks of making its way across the state, the torch has finally made its way to the coast.
The New Hanover leg of the race started at the Sheriff’s office and ended after an eleven mile run to Wrightsville Beach.
“The torch will make its way to the opening ceremonies” said Dustin Templeton, a Special Olympics athlete.
The 2017 North Carolina law enforcement torch run for Special Olympics is a 2,000 mile, 20 day relay that involves more than two-hundred-thousand law enforcement officers from around the state.
“It’s important, it raises a lot of money and it helps support the cause and helps us get to compete,” said Templeton.
The goal is to raise 1.3 million dollars.
The New Hanover County Sheriff’s office and Wilmington police joined together to carry the torch across the county.
“We have a great showing from all the local departments and this is a great event to raise awareness for,” said Asst. Chief of Police WPD, Jim Varrone, “it’s just exciting to be doing something other than what we normally do.”
For Sheriff Ed McMahon, this was a great opportunity to help and have a little fun.
“We want to build relationships, we’re just ya know regular people,” said McMahon. “Some of us are good runners, some of us might not make it too far today, but we’re just out here to have a good time and raise awareness for the special Olympics.”
An organizer with the New Hanover County Sheriff’s department said this year’s turnout was the best they have ever had and is hopeful that it continues to grow each year.
The run ended at one o’clock on Wrightsville Beach. The torch next heads to Cleveland county next.
Opening ceremonies will be held June 2nd at Reynolds coliseum at NC State University in Raleigh, NC.