The community is invited to line the route Wednesday, May 23, for the Jefferson County leg of the 2018 Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics Arkansas, according to a news release.


The Jefferson County Torch Run will be held Wednesday, beginning at 10 a.m. at Saracen Landing at Lake Saracen. Participants will proceed across Martha Mitchell Expressway to Barraque Street. Runners will stop at the Jefferson County Courthouse on Barraque for photos, then proceed down Main Street, turning East on Ninth Avenue to State Street. They will proceed down State Street to East Eighth Avenue, from there to Convention Center Drive and will return to Lake Saracen.


Jefferson County’s group will include members of Pine Bluff Police Department, Pine Bluff Fire & Emergency Services Department, Jefferson County Sheriff’s Department, White Hall Police Department and Arkansas State Police.


“We would love for everyone to line the streets as the torch makes its way through downtown Pine Bluff to cheer on the runners and athletes as they pass,” a spokesman said.


The 2018 Summer Games Torch Run kicked off May 21 in all four corners of the state. The “Flame of Hope” torches are lit and carried by officers and athletes throughout various cities for four days.


“All Guardians of the Flame will converge at the Arkansas State Capitol to join their flames in a ceremonial lighting of the Final Leg Torch on Thursday, May 24. Law enforcement officers will then take off on the Final Leg, a 50-mile continuous run, to Searcy,” according to the release.


Officers will complete the final leg by running the Flame of Hope to Harding University stadium for the 2018 Summer Games Opening Ceremonies.


“Spectators are welcome to line the streets to cheer on the 2018 Torch Run convoy made up of Steve Landers Auto Group, Stallion Transportation Centennial Bank, Good Sam, and members from across the state in the Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics Arkansas movement,” according to the release.


The mission of the Law Enforcement Torch Run is to raise funds and awareness for Special Olympics.


“Nearly 100 agencies and 1,500 officers work year-round in Arkansas to accomplish this goal; they are some of our greatest volunteers,” according to the release.


All funds raised go towards supporting Special Olympics Arkansas year round sports training and athletic competition.


Participants host special events like Polar Plunges, Boots-N-Badges, Tip A Cop, Golf and Softball tournaments. A major source of funding comes from the sale of Torch Run T-shirts that feature a new design each year. Sponsors and corporate donations help round out these fund-raising efforts, according to the release.


Details: Sgt. Lori Whillock, Arkansas State Police, 870-209-3467, or Carla Covey, special projects coordinator, Pine Bluff Fire & Emergency Services Department at 870-730-2048.