A worthy cause

You may have noticed some unusual traffic patterns on Washington Road around 9 this morning. Multiple emergency service vehicles made their way slowly through the Uptown business district, sandwiching a group of dressed-down police officers carrying a torch. Pedestrians stopped what they were doing to watch the procession, and Washington School students lined the streets to watch this important display that only happens once a year.

The Special Olympics Law Enforcement Torch Run is held annually around Memorial Day, and the Mt. Lebanon Police Department does its part in carrying the “Flame of Hope” as it travels from Pittsburgh to State College for the Special Olympics Summer Games.

Another Special Olympics event that has become a community tradition is the Allegheny County Golf Qualifier, which is held annually at Mt. Lebanon Golf Course. In fact, this year, the golf course celebrated 20 years of hosting the qualifier tournament.

Fourteen athletes participated in the event held on Monday, May 22, and local volunteers joined with volunteers from the Special Olympics of Allegheny County to help support the tournament.

The winners of the Level II and Level IV classifications will move on to compete in the the 2017 Special Olympics Summer Games, which will be held this week, from Thursday, June 1, through Saturday, June 3. The Summer Games is the largest annual Special Olympics event in Pennsylvania, bringing together more than 2,000 athletes and 750 coaches from across the state, competing in aquatics, athletics, basketball, bowling, equestrian, golf, gymnastics, softball and tennis.

If you would like to support the event, either by volunteering at the Summer Games in State College or by making a donation, visit www.SpecialOlympicsPA.org.