Torch Run held in Sparta

Parkes honored during event

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  • Special Olympic Torch Run Assistant State Coordinator, Cesar Morales presents Cpl. Susan Parkes a plaque recognizing her for her efforts in assisting the Torch Run for the past 20 years. Parkes is joined by members of the Pope John XXXIII Regional High School Champion Girls Track Team, 11th graders Morgan Hassa and Franhi Whitenour. Sparta Township Police Department Photo

  • Lt. Neil Spidaletto hands off the Special Olympic Torch to Det. Jeffrey McCarrick on Rte. 517, as the 31st annual Law Enforcement Sponsored Special Olympics Torch Run travels north on Rte. 517. This is the 31st year that New Jersey law Enforcement has sponsored the Special Olympics. Sparta Towsnhip Police Department Photo

— The New Jersey Law Enforcement Special Olympics Torch Run commenced their annual run from High Point State Park to Trenton May 30.

For 31 years the support from members of New Jersey Law Enforcement has given athletes a chance to learn, grow and know the joy of sports and athletic competition through participation in the Special Olympics in New Jersey.

This year, Sparta Police Officers were joined by members of the Sparta High School and Pope John XXXIII Regional High School, Boys and Girls Track Teams.

The local high school athletes helped carry the Special Olympics Torch through the township.

The students of the Goodard School, Sparta Middle School and the Helen Morgan School prepared banners and posters, turning out in force to cheer the runners on. As one runner approached the Sparta Municipal Building on Main Street, the caravan of escorting police cruisers from around the state brought the run to a stop.

In the middle of Main Street, Cesar A. Morales, a Trustee of the Port Authority Police Benevolent Association and one of the state coordinators for the torch run, made a presentation to Sparta Police Cpl. Susan Parkes.

Parkes, who will retire after 25 years of active service on Jan. 31, has coordinated Sparta Township’s Torch Run efforts for the past 20 years.

She was presented with a plaque and flowers in recognition for her efforts for the past two decades.

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