Torch run

Worcester County law enforcement officers, friends and supporters participate in the Law Enforcement Torch Relay benefiting the Special Olympics of Maryland on the Ocean City Boardwalk, last year.

Above: OCPD hosted its first “Cover the Cruiser,” event to raise money for Special Olympics Maryland on May 25 in preparation for the annual Torch Run Relay on June 3.

Event to begin on Ocean City Boardwalk; continues on to West OC then Berlin

Torch Run schedule:

8-8:30 a.m. – Pre-event ceremonies, Grand Hotel, 21st Street and Boardwalk, Ocean City

8:30 a.m. –  Torch Run Relay begins. Run will proceed from 21st Street to N. Division Street

9-9:10 a.m. – Run concludes at N. Division Street with photo opportunity and refreshment. Participants will load a bus to proceed to West Ocean City for the second leg of the relay 

9:25-9:35 a.m. – Arrive at Broken Sound Boulevard and Center Drive in West Ocean City

9:35 a.m. – Begin second leg to Ocean City Elementary School

9:45-10 a.m. – Conclude second leg at Ocean City Elementary

10 a.m. – Board bus for third leg of run in Berlin

10:15 a.m. – Arrive at Franklin Avenue in Berlin

10:25 a.m. – Begin third leg to Berlin Intermediate School

10:30-10:40 a.m. – Run ends at Berlin Intermediate School

10:40 a.m. – Board bus for Worcester County Athletic Complex to begin downtown Berlin run

10:45 a.m. – Arrive at Worcester County Athletic Complex for Berlin run

11 a.m. – Begin fourth leg through downtown Berlin with stops at Worcester Prep and Buckingham Elementary. Run ends at the Berlin Fire Station

11:45 a.m. – Event concludes with lunch and entertainment at the Berlin Fire Station

(all times are approximate and subject to change)

(May 31, 2019) Aiming to foster goodwill while providing funding for Special Olympic athletes, an array of Worcester County law enforcement personnel will unite for the annual Torch Run Relay on Monday, June 3, beginning at 8 a.m. in Ocean City.

Participation is open to anyone interested in accompanying the Special Olympics “Flame of Hope” as it travels statewide preceding the opening ceremony of the Summer Games held at Towson University, June 7-9.

Since 1986, the Law Enforcement Torch Run has raised funds for the Special Olympics Maryland Summer Games, netting about $5,000 the initial year and growing to tens of millions statewide over the past three-plus decades.

Ocean City Police Department Pfc. Neshawn Jubilee has helped organize the local event for the past seven years, working closely with longtime Special Olympics advocate Lt. Dennis Eade who has orchestrated the area fundraising efforts for the last two decades.

“We will probably raise more than $15,000 this year,” Jubilee said.

The bulk of money is raised through sales of commemorative hats and T-shirts, which participants wear during the Torch Run, with all funds generated benefitting Special Olympics Maryland.

“Last year over $200,000 was raised [statewide] in Torch Run T-shirt and hat sales,” he said.

That sum was part of roughly $36 million raised collectively from Polar Plunges, merchandise sales and assorted fundraisers held throughout the state for Special Olympics Maryland.

Worcester law enforcement officers are part of the larger Maryland Torch Run Relay which breaks the state into four regions: eastern, western, central and southern.

Volunteers take the “Guardian of the Flame” role seriously and over the course of a week cover hundreds of miles enroute to the opening ceremony in Towson.

Searching for means to increase community involvement and public awareness, Jubilee said OCPD sponsored the first ever “Cover the Cruiser,” last weekend on the Boardwalk by North Division Street.

In total, 285 messages bearing kind words and sentiments for Special Olympic athletes were placed on the marked patrol vehicle, while Torch Run Relay T-shirts and hats were also available for purchase.

“The event this weekend raised $4,910,” Jubilee said on Monday.

Jubilee, who has become deeply involved with fundraising for the charitable endeavor over the past seven years, made further strides this year to increase involvement from area schools and community members.

To that end, this year the event will include a short run outside Berlin Intermediate School.

In addition to backing from faculty, Jubilee hopes the celebratory Torch Run Relay will positively impact students and plant emphatic seeds in young minds.

The Torch Run Relay ends, as in past years, at the Berlin Fire Department, but this year the closing celebration has been expanded, he said.

In addition to nourishment catered by Chick-fil-A, Jubilee said Special Olympics supporters are invited for post-event entertainment at the Berlin Fire Station, which will feature a snow-cone maker, popcorn machine and a bouncy house for children, all sponsored by the SonRise Church in Berlin.

“We wanted to get the community involved,” he said.

Recorded music will add to the ambiance following the gathering that draws hundreds annually.

The event is primarily focused on supporting the Special Olympics and attendees are not required to run the entirety with support vehicles available for each leg. Bicyclists are also welcome to pedal along with the Torch Run Relay.

Torch Run T-Shirts should be worn for this event and can be purchased in advance or the morning of the event for $15 each. Sizes may be limited the day of the event.

To purchase in advance contact Pfc Jubilee at njubilee@oceancitymd.gov or 443-523-5330.

For more information about Special Olympics Maryland, visit www.somd.org

Newshound striving to provide accurate and detailed coverage of topics relevant to Ocean City and Worcester County

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