CAMDEN – Under cloudy skies, but no rain, the Special Olympics Torch Run got off to a good start at the Camden’s Town Office. Members of the Camden Police Department participated in the run and as tradition held, Special Olympian Graham Wiley led the start.
Maureen Smith, leg leader, said the Torch Run begins in Camden and ends in West Bath.
“This raises money and awareness for the Maine Special Olympics and all the athletes,” she said. “The Summer games begin in Orono this Friday, June 7, at the University of Maine.”
Special Olympics in Maine serves over 4,400 athletes and offers over 70 events year round at the state and local levels.
Beverly Wiley, mother of Graham, said the Special Olympics are important to Graham.
“It’s very hard work for him,” she said. “He gets to participate in activities and he gets a medal. He knows he’s doing something very special for himself.”
Beverly said Graham has been participating since he was four years old.
“He’s 28 now,” she said. “He’s been carrying the torch since he was age five. He’ll also be handing out some water along the route. Graham will participate in the standing long jump and the softball throw.”
Camden Police Chief Randy Gagne has participated in the Torch Run for the last seven years.
“Probably before that as well,” he said.” “It’s a great thing and that’s why we do it every year. Our officers will run the Camden/Rockport leg and they’ll meet up with other officers. The furthest anybody usually goes is to Applebees in Rockland which is exactly ten miles from this doorstep.”
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