Torch Run, carnival passes through Paradise Valley May 3

Town of Paradise Valley community members are invited to the Law Enforcement Torch Run and Community Carnival Celebration on May 3. (Submitted photo)

The Town of Paradise Valley community is invited to cheer on participants and join friends for the Law Enforcement Torch Run and Community Carnival Celebration on Thursday, May 3.

In addition to food, festivities and a petting zoo, come join Paradise Valley Police Department officers as they pass the torch to the Scottsdale Police Department for the Special Olympics’ 50th Anniversary.

There are seven legs in the state where a torch is passed from agency to agency. The Paradise Valley Police Department’s leg is 1.5 miles, 4:30-5 p.m., starting at 7100 N. Mockingbird and en route to end at 6911 E. McDonald Drive where the carnival is being held 4-7 p.m. at the fields behind Kiva Elementary School.

The torch is lit during each segment until put out, said Paradise Valley Police Officer Steven McGhee. He said the torch run is only statewide during summer games. Programs throughout the U.S. have their statewide torch runs depending on when their summer games happen.

“The torch run across the country happens when we have world games every two years,” Mr. McGhee said. “Our Torch Run is a 1.5 mile jog or bike ride with local Special Olympic athletes who will be leading our Torch Run positioned on a trolley.”

Special Olympics athlete Jenny Bishop, 41, who likes competing, said she can’t wait to participate in the Torch Run festivities.

“It is the opening ceremony to Special Olympics, just like regular Olympics and it’s a community event for different age groups. It is also one of the many opportunities for community involvement,” she said. “I always look forward to this every year. You can never be too old to participate. I still get very excited when my friends and I win medals and celebrate together.”

She and her parents, Randy and Jeri, look forward to meeting up with new and old friends at the event that encourages and supports more than 25,000 Special Olympics athletes statewide.

“Each opening ceremony for Special Olympics has the same importance as any Olympics. It is all the athletes coming together to celebrate the beginning of a new start or year,” Jeri said. “Everyone participating is just as excited for their friends to win as they are for themselves. It is a wonderful community and example for all to witness.”

For more than 30 years, Jenny, a Cherokee Elementary School worker, has been involved with Special Olympics, participating in swimming, track and field, cheer-leading, bowling, softball, tennis and basketball.

Her mom spoke highly of the organization that offers sports participation for mentally and physically challenged youths and adults while elevating their abilities.

“We always look forward to Special Olympics. We’ve met so many other parents over the years and strive to be better people as we witness our kids lead with their example,” Jeri said.

In addition to participating in sports and developing lasting friendships, the program has leadership and job training programs and conducts free medical screenings for athletes.

For more information on Law Enforcement Torch Run Week with the Paradise Valley Police Department go to: www.paradisevalleypd.com/TorchRun

You are encouraged to leave relevant comments but engaging in personal attacks, threats, online bullying or commercial spam will not be allowed. All comments should remain within the bounds of fair play and civility. (You can disagree with others courteously, without being disagreeable.) Feel free to express yourself but keep an open mind toward finding value in what others say. To report abuse or spam, click the X in the upper right corner of the comment box.