BENNINGTON, VT—Nicholas Saladino, a Special Olympics Gold Medal winner from nearby Halifax, will join local law enforcement and community members Wednesday to raise awareness and support for the Law Enforcement Torch Run to benefit Special Olympics. The public is invited to attend the 10 o’clock event at the Bennington Fire Department on River Street Wednesday morning, hosted by Fire Chief Steve Crawford and Bennington Police Chief Paul Doucette.
Nicholas, who trains and races with the AbilityPLUS Alpine Race Team at Mount Snow, will deliver remarks on behalf of Special Olympians. Both Chief Crawford and Chief Doucette also will speak to law enforcement’s long-time support for Vermont Special Olympics. Joining the chiefs will be representatives of the Vermont State Police and Bennington County Sheriff’s Department.
“This is an opportunity for the community to come together to celebrate Special Olympics and the tremendous contribution law enforcement has made to our athletes for so many years,” said Maura Donahue, Special Olympics race team coach for AbilityPLUS. “We’re especially proud that Nicholas has been chosen to speak.”
Nicholas won Gold in intermediate slalom during last month’s Vermont Special Olympics at Suicide Six in Woodstock, VT. He races for the AbilityPLUS team and was introduced to competitive skiing through school programs he participates in with AbilityPLUS at Mount Snow. He is a student at Franklin County Techinical School in Turners Falls, MA.
The Law Enforcement Torch Run began in 1981 when Wichita, Kansas Police Chief Richard LaMunyon saw an urgent need to increase awareness of Special Olympics. He also saw it as an ideal way to involve local law enforcement personnel with the Special Olympics community. The Torch Run is an event preceding the Special Olympics in which officers and athletes carry the Flame of Hope to opening ceremonies. Vermont law enforcement carry the torch for Vermont Special Olympics, as well.
AbilityPLUS provides athletic and recreational programs to people with all manner of disabilities year ‘round from its facilities at Mount Snow, Vermont and in New Hampshire at Attitash and Wildcat Resorts. It has affiliate programs at resorts throughout New England, offering access to athletic and recreational opportunities for individuals with physical and developmental disabilities. The programs are designed to create freedom, promote independence, support inclusion and help those individuals and their families discover their full social, emotional and athletic potential. AbilityPLUS is a 501(c) 3 organization and serves people with all manner of physical and developmental disabilities.