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      Local law enforcement agencies carry Special Olympics torch through Heartland

      The Law Enforcement Torch Run continues across the state of Missouri this week, and Tuesday morning it made its way through Kirksville.

      The run benefits Special Olympics Missouri and the torch will be used for the state??s Summer Games Opening Ceremony next week.

      Over a dozen runners from local law enforcement agencies in Adair County were accompanied by the Kirksville Police Department, Adair County Sheriff??s Office, Kirksville Fire Department and the National Guard in Tuesday morning??s torch run.

      The route started at Jim Robertson??s and continued south on US 63 and into Kirksville??s Downtown Square.

      Once it made its way into the square, the torch was passed on to athletes, who then carried it around the square.

      After their round, the torch continued on its way where it will eventually make its final destination in Columbia for the opening ceremonies on May 29th.

      This is an annual event local law enforcement takes part in, and organizers say its just one of the ways they are able to support Special Olympics.

      ??You know we do everything we can for the community,?? said Adair County Sheriff??s Office Finance Coordinator, Melissa Hocker. ??For law enforcement, we want to serve and protect, and this is a way we get to serve the community, and we get to show our support to all the Special Olympic athletes and everything they do and show them they are special to us as well.??

      After the race, organizers held a breakfast fundraiser for the first time.

      Biscuits and gravy and pancakes were served for a $5 donation. All the items for the fundraiser were donated by local businesses.

      ??Every single item in the breakfast was donated. Every dollar that we collect today [Tuesday] will go directly toward Special Olympics,?? Hocker said. ??Everything is completely a profit for Special Olympics and my goal is to donate $1,000 to them.??

      The torch will eventually make its way to Columbia for the state??s Summer Games Opening Ceremonies on May 29th. The games will be held May 29th-June 1st.

      More than 1,000 runners from 125 law enforcement agencies across the state of Missouri will complete 42 different routes and cover more than 1,000 miles to benefit Special Olympics Missouri.

      Special Olympics is a non-profit organization offering year-round training and competition for athletes ages eight and older with intellectual disabilities. CLICK HERE to learn more.