MONMOUTH COUNTY, N.J. - The Annual Torch Run for Special Olympics made its way through Monmouth County on Friday, June 7th, and it was an inspiration to both the runners and the supporters who cheered them on. The event started at 5:30am and reached Middletown, around 12:40pm. The torch was then carried northbound...

Throughout the State of New Jersey, law enforcement officers donned red t-shirts and running gear instead of uniforms and they carried the “Flame of Hope” throughout the Garden State, as a welcome to the Special Olympics New Jersey Summer Games Opening Ceremony.

The Holmdel Police Department staged the front parking lot of the Exxon Station located on Route 35 North next door to Target near the border where Middletown meets Holmdel. A Holmdel Firetruck parked out front and the antique Holmdel PD cruiser were on display for the children to enjoy and take pictures with. There was a nice Holmdel crowd in place to support and help cheer on the passing of the torch from Middletown to Holmdel. 

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Around 1:10 pm, Middletown PD came in full force and made a successful pass to Holmdel. 

VIDEO:  Watch the Middletown PD pass the torch to Holmdel PD.

Holmdel carried the torch forward to light the way towards Special Olympics 2019, handing it off to Hazlet PD near Costco. With the torch leading the way, Special Olympics and the significance it brings to so many was in first place along the entire route.

After traveling more than 750 miles, the flame eventually made its way to light the cauldron to signal the official start of the Summer Games, the largest competition event of the year. 

VIDEO: See the lighting of the cauldron here. 

The Special Olympics program offers amazing opportunities available promoting joy, personal growth, confidence and camaraderie through sports and community engagement. There are options for every sporting interest:  There is no age limit and almost all programs are free.  The best way to start is going to the Special Olympics NJ website and exploring program offerings.  Please note that although the state is divided into  regions by county, you can participate in a program in outside of your home county.

Find out more about the Torch Run here:

Special Olympic's Mission:

Our mission is to provide year-round sports training and athletic competition in a variety of Olympic-type sports for children and adults with intellectual disabilities, giving them continuing opportunities to develop physical fitness, demonstrate courage, experience joy and participate in a sharing of gifts, skills and friendship with their families, other Special Olympics athletes and the community. Click here for more information.