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Police Hit The Streets In Stamford For Special Olympics Torch Run

Runners in the Norwalk section of the Law Enforcement Torch Run on Friday morning. Photo Credit: Frank MacEachern
Sebastian Rojas, left, and his cousin, Norwalk Police Officer Phil Taborda along with other Norwalk Police Officers in the background participated in the Norwalk section of the Law Enforcement Torch Run. Photo Credit: Frank MacEachern
Norwalk participants in the Torch Run, from left: Matt Mason, Keith Elmore, Mark Kurimai, Manny Wiggins, Leon Keller and Olivia Blake. Photo Credit: Frank MacEachern
Runners during the Darien section of the Law Enforcement Torch Run Friday morning. Photo Credit: Frank MacEachern
Darien Police Department runners Photo Credit: Darien Police Department via Twitter @darienPD
Fairfield Police Department runners Photo Credit: Fairfield Police Department via Twitter @fpdct
Greenwich Police Department runners Photo Credit: Greenwich Police Department via Twitter @greenwichctpd

NORWALK, Conn. -- Sebastian Rojas, 23, has a simple explanation about why he participated in the annual Law Enforcement Torch Run on Friday in Norwalk.

"It's for a good cause, and I am a big supporter of Special Olympics," Rojas said during a break in the run in Norwalk.

The run kicks off the annual Special Olympics Summer Games. 

The runners were part of Leg 10 of the Torch Run, which began with an 8:30 a.m. start in Greenwich and arrived in New Haven at 5 p.m. -- just in time for the opening ceremonies. Police officers from the various communities along with other runners -- such as the Choices for Success student running team in Norwalk -- participated in the run. Leg 10 made its way through Greenwich, Stamford, Darien, Norwalk, Westport, Fairfield and Bridgeport on the way to New Haven. Another torch run went through Danbury and another made its way into RIdgefield and Wilton.

Rojas joined his cousin, Norwalk Police Officer Phil Taborda, who has been involved in the run every year he has been a police officer. Taborda's involvement began when he was a Hartford police officer for two-and-a-half years before moving to the Norwalk Police Department five years ago.

"It's for a great cause, that simple," Taborda said, echoing his cousin's comments.

Taborda was one of eight Norwalk Police officers who participated in the run. He is a school resource officer and was joined by three fellow SROs: Vidal Goñez, Tom Kalamaras and Fred Kellogg; as well as three patrol officers: Cristina Capella, Ray Tejada, Joe Macaluso and Lt. Brian Cunningham.

One of the runners carried a torch during the run as they followed the lead vehicle, a Toyota Tundra supplied by New Country Toyota of Westport.

There were other runs in other parts of Fairfield County and throughout the state on Friday.

The summer games began with the opening ceremony Friday night and continue with competition on Saturday and Sunday at Southern Connecticut State University and the Hamden Hall Athletic Fields.

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