STRASBURG (WJER) (June 22, 2022) – The Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics will come through Tuscarawas County for the first time in its 41-year history Thursday.
Police officers from Strasburg, Dover, New Philadelphia, and Sugarcreek will run with the “Flame of Hope” through their towns as it makes its way to the Ohio State University for the Ohio Summer Games, which begin Friday.
Northeast Ohio Torch Run organizer and Doylestown Officer Nate Samples says this area has been underrepresented in the past.
“I realized we were missing out on so much,” he said. “Stark, Tusc, all these other departments that have never been represented.
“With a green light from Special Olympics … we were able to expand the Torch Run through Stark and Tuscarawas counties. It’s been amazing the feedback we’ve gotten from Tuscarawas County officers and departments.”
Starting at the northern border of Strasburg at 11:45 a.m. Thursday, the torch will go down state route 250 to North Wooster Avenue in Dover, arriving there at about 12:20.
Dover’s Sean Leffler will hand the torch off to New Philadelphia Sgt. Tessa Pohovey around 1:10 on the Boulevard. She will run it to the police station.
“It just seemed like a good cause, and I enjoy doing things like this,” she said.
The torch is scheduled to arrive at the Cuckoo Clock in Sugar Creek at 2 p.m.
Sugarcreek Police Captain Brian Dalton says they hope people come out to watch and are inspired to donate to special Olympics. Patrolman Michael Sherry will run for Sugarcreek.
“We’ll have a couple of units escorting Michael, and then we’ll have a marked fire unit behind us,” Dalton said. “The actual Torch Run organization has a huge tour bus with all the graphics of the Torch Run and the Special Olympics on the side, and then competitors that are in the Special Olympics will be running with Michael.”
The Tuscarawas County Rockets organization is sending 27 athletes and 16 volunteers to the Summer Games to compete in bocce, bowling, track and field, and volleyball.