The Special Olympics Ontario Provincial Summer Games have wrapped up in southern Ontario, and now the Special Olympics Flame of Hope will make its way to the Sault for the 2019 winter version of the Games.
The Flame Of Hope (torch) was passed on from Chief Jennifer Evans, Peel Regional Police Service chief, to Robert Keetch, Sault Ste. Marie Police Service chief, at a ceremony in Brampton this weekend.
Keetch accompanied Sault Ste. Marie Special Olympian Chuck Showan in accepting the Flame, joined by Sault Police Constables Shaun Beaulieu and Fred Brown.
It was officially announced May 3 the Sault will host the 2019 Special Olympics Ontario Provincial Winter Games.
Special Olympics is the charity of choice for the International Association of Chiefs of Police.
The games, which are held every four years on a rotating basis, will run from Jan. 31 to Feb. 3, 2019 and occur at roughly the same time as the 2019 Bon Soo Winter Carnival.
The games will consist of Nordic skiing, Alpine skiing, figure skating, speed skating, curling and snowshoeing, to be held at the John Rhodes Community Centre, Essar Centre, Community First Curling Centre and Searchmont Ski Resort.
It is projected the games will bring together over 400 athletes and coaches.
Beginning in Jan. 2018, Sault Police Service Constable Shaun Beaulieu will be seconded to work as Games Manager.
The games will be paid for through fundraising.
“We’re going to set our fundraising goal at $500,000,” Beaulieu told SooToday in May, anticipating that amount will cover the cost of hosting the games.
Beaulieu said he is confident of reaching that goal, but any fundraising shortfalls will be covered by the Special Olympics head office in Toronto.