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Law Enforcement Torch Run to return to Newton

Newton Daily News - 5/5/2017

May 05--The Iowa Special Olympics Law Enforcement Torch Run will return to Newton this month with more than 30 participants.

The Jasper County portion of the run is set for 9 a.m.May 24 and will begin at Casey'sGeneral Store at Iowa Speedway Drive and will finish at the entrance of the Westwood Golf Course on Highway 6 West.

The group will include runners from the Newton Police Department, the Jasper County Sheriff's Office, the Department of Correction and other Jasper County agencies. There will be a squad leading the runners and a squad tailing the runners.

The group will stop for a break at the courthouse lawn and will get the chance for a photo op.

The run is part of a statewide relay in a lead up to the 2016 Special Olympics Iowa Summer Games, being held May 25-27 at Iowa State University in Ames.

Cathy Tyson and her husband Jim began coordinating Newton athletes for the special Olympics because of the positive impact the event had on their two sons.

"Our children, Eric and Joel, have been involved since they were 10 years old and now they are 38 and 43," Cathy said. "It's such a positive thing and we became involved with it because we thought Progress Industries and Newton could benefit from it."

Tyson said the torch run is made to be much like the national special Olympics with athletes who come from all nations but instead with participants coming from across the state of Iowa.

"They really enjoy seeing people come out and support them by clapping, waving and speaking to them," Cathy said. "It's something positive and it's just a good connection between law enforcement and people with special needs."

Tyson said her sons are participating in the torch run and they enjoy the softball throw and track and field the most during the summer games. She said it's exciting and thrilling to see her sons be a part of the community activity.

"People know Eric, he's such a sports nut, he goes to all the ball games," Tyson said. "Our other son enjoys the recognition and he's more affected by autism. It's sometimes hard to get him out with people and his autism causes him to pull back -- with the special Olympics he's never pulled back."

Cathy said she and her husband continue to get calls from people in the community about how they can get individuals with special needs involved.

"It keeps people who have special needs active," she said. "It can really make a difference in their lives and they forget they have a disability. They are just like you and I and you get to know them and their families."

The Newton portion of the Torch Run has often been spearheaded in recent years by Newton Police Lt. Wayne Winchell.

The event is a fundraiser for the Special Olympics and runners still have the chance to sign up by calling Winchell at 641-791-0850.

Contact Kayla Langmaid at 641-792-3121 ext. 6533 or


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