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Berlin, Ocean Pines News Worcester County Bayside Gazette Logo Berlin, Ocean Pines News Worcester County Bayside Gazette


Torch Run races through county, raising awareness

(June 4, 2015) The Maryland Torch Run celebrated its 30th anniversary this week, running two legs in Worcester County and drawing scores of cheering spectators.
The first leg began on the Boardwalk on Monday morning, followed by a short bus trip to Berlin, where participants were greeted with a pep rally at Worcester Preparatory School
The annual event features a partnership with law enforcement and the Special Olympics Summer Games, with volunteers from both groups running as one unit and carrying, of course, a burning torch.
Sgt. Dennis G. Eade from the Ocean City Police Department spoke before the assembled crowd at Worcester Prep, where the student body gathered on the lawn to greet and cheer on participants.
“We started this adventure on the Boardwalk in Ocean City at 27th Street and we ran all the way down the Boardwalk to Division Street, and we woke all of Ocean City up,” he said. “What we have here are some pretty special people.”
Eade said state police as well as members of the Ocean City Police Department, Worcester County Sheriff’s Office and Berlin Police Department were taking part in this year’s run.
“We then hand the torch to Salisbury’s Police Department, and they take it out and they run through Salisbury and they hand it to Cambridge, Easton, Annapolis, and it goes all the way out to Baltimore where they have the summer games this weekend,” he said. “We can’t thank Worcester Prep enough for coming out here and doing this for us.”
Each participant in the Torch Run buys a T-shirt, this year’s being bright yellow, with the proceeds going to the Special Olympics Summer Games. Since its inception the event has raised more than $2 million for the cause.
Centerville resident Barbara Nelson was at Worcester Prep to cheer on her son, R.J., an athlete in the Special Olympics games.
Nelson underscored how much the games mean to the athletes who take part.
“The accomplishment to them [is] just wonderful,” she said. “It’s the most wonderful feeling in the world. We really do appreciate everything that the Maryland State Police has done, you guys coming out here, and everything everyone has done for these athletes.”
Following the pep rally, the runners raced down Main Street, through downtown Berlin, where visitors and shop owners gathered on the sidewalk to watch.
Special Olympics Maryland President and CEO Jim Schmutz, who took part in both Worcester County events on Monday, said the awareness raised during the Torch Run was even more important than the fundraising aspect.    
“We were just down on the Boardwalk in Ocean City [and] we get to run around the school here so the students get a feel for it, and business owners [in Berlin] are great supporters,” he said. “It’s really a great opportunity for us to build awareness for Special Olympics.”
For more information, on the Special Olympics Summer Games visit