TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WAWV/WTWO) – Officers from across the state gathered at Indiana State University to raise funds for the Special Olympics Indiana Summer Games.

Indiana State University Police Sergeant Jacquelyn Smith said the Summer Games started in Terre Haute.

“The Summer Games started here in Terre Haute at ISU by a professor many years ago,” Smith said. “We’ve just continued the tradition of being here in the summer time for the Summer Games.”

The Final Leg Torch Run took place June 10th as a statewide fund raising effort from Indianapolis to Terre Haute for the ceremonial lighting of the cauldron. The event signified the start of the 2022 Special Olympics Indiana Summer Games.

Indiana State University Police paved the way for runners on ISU’s campus.

Smith said the Torch Run is a partnership between law enforcement and Special Olympics Indiana that raises funds for the athletes competition and other needs.

“All the money that is raised by law enforcement pays for all the services that come with Summer Games like housing and food,” Smith said.

The 3-mile Torch Run is just one event that the officers do to interact and raise funds for the athletes. Public Information Officer Sergeant Matt Ames said its important to celebrate acceptance.

“It gives the opportunity for the athletes to see us and know that we are here support them,” Ames said. “This gives them an opportunity to speak with us and just build a good relationship between each other.”

Sarah Tellechea said her son Ian has competed in the Special Olympics for over 5 years, and appreciates the support from law enforcement.

“You have a kid who now feels accepted by the very people that hopefully he also feels safe by,” Tellechea said.

Ian Tellechea said events like the Torch Run do indeed make him feel safe.

“It means a great deal to me and I’ve made a lot of friends along the way,” Tellechea said.

Over 60 law enforcement agencies across the state participated in this years Torch Run.

The Summer Games will take place at Indiana State University and Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology June 17th-19th. Special Olympics Indiana said volunteers are still needed.