On June 8, a group of about 20 people, most of them police officers and community volunteers on bicycles, escorted the Special Olympics Flame of Hope to the Evanston Police Station, 1454 Elmwood Ave. The Flame had traveled earlier that day from Waukegan and was passed to the Evanston group at Isabella Street, the City’s north border.
Each year about 3,000 police officers from throughout the state, representing all branches of law enforcement, take part in the 1,500-mile relay, a fund-raiser for Special Olympics.
Evanston Police Officer Grace Carmichael distributed bottled water and T-shirts to the participants, as the crowd grew incrementally between 10 a.m., the time the flame was projected to arrive, and 11 a.m., when the flame and its entourage did cross the Evanston-Wilmette border.
City Clerk Rodney Greene was on hand to participate for the third year. He said he had erroneously received the email about the 2011 run but decided that it sounded like a worthwhile cause and, “I do it every year.”
Officer Carmichael also coordinated the “Cop on Top” fundraiser for Special Olympics last month.
The opening ceremony for the Special Olympics in Illinois will take place on June 13 in Normal. According to a statement from Illinois Special Olympics, “When the cauldron is lit and the games declared open, more than 4,000 athletes will continue three days of competition and celebration.”