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Local Special Olympians were joined by Shelton police officers, Shelton High School students and others as they ran and carried the Special Olympics torch through Shelton. (Photos by Brad Durrell)

The experience made her feel good, said Alison Smith, a Special Olympics athlete from Shelton who participated in the run.

The local Law Enforcement Torch Run entered from Trumbull and then went through Huntington Center and downtown Shelton before traveling into Derby. Runners were aided by a police escort.

Torch runs were held throughout the state in the lead-up to the Special Olympics Connecticut’s Summer Games, which took place June 5 to 7 at Southern Connecticut State University in New Haven.


'It's for a great cause'


Joseph Niski and Billy Simics were among the SHS students who participated, with both carrying the torch during the Huntington leg of the run.

“It’s for a great cause, so many people — including a lot of our friends — are joining in,” Billy said.

“We’re having a fun time while supporting the Special Olympics,” John said.

Billy and John will be co-captains of the Shelton High cross country team next year.


Police officers and the mayor


About a half dozen Shelton Police Department members were part of the running crew, and Mayor Mark Lauretti was moving right alongside them.

“I’ve been doing this for years,” Lauretti said. “It’s important to support initiatives like this. Our involvement encourages people to make contributions to the Special Olympics.”

The Law Enforcement Torch Run is held annually to raise funds and awareness of Special Olympics Connecticut.

This year, more than 1,500 local law enforcement officers across the state participated in the run, covering more than 530 miles.

Special Olympics Connecticut provides year-round sports training and competitions for over 13,000 athletes of all ages with intellectual disabilities.