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Special Olympics torch makes its way through Utica

By JOLEEN FERRIS

UTICA, N.Y. (WKTV) - The New York State Special Olympics torch makes its way through Utica in preparation for Friday's opening ceremonies at Utica College.

This is the 25th anniversary for the law enforcement torch run and is also a huge fundraiser for the New York State Special Olympics.

There were lots of smiles, as well as lots of pride on Friday as local police officers and prosecutors from the Oneida County District Attorney's Office accompanied Special Olympians, both on foot and cycle, running the torch into Utica City Hall Friday morning for a brief stop and press conference.

Officials with the Special Olympics say they love having opening ceremonies in Utica, because they get an amazingly warm response here.

"It is an outstanding community," said Neal Johnson, President of the NYS Special Olympics. "To typify it, last year when we put out a call for volunteers, two months before the event, we had satisfied our need for volunteers. Never ever happened anywhere else in the state. That's the response that this community has given us."

It's a fundraiser, because law enforcement taking part in the torch run buy the t-shirts they wear and get corporate pledges from the community.

The opening ceremonies are Friday, June 10, 2011 at 7:30 p.m. at Gaetano Stadium at Utica College.

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