WCU employees, students to participate in April 25 Torch Run

Western Carolina University employees and students will participate in the Torch Run for the Jackson County Special Olympics beginning at 8:30 a.m. Friday, April 25, at the Camp Building Gymnasium on the WCU campus.

Lt. Kent Davis of the University Police Department is coordinating the running of the torch from campus to Smoky Mountain High School in Sylva, where a parade of athletes and opening ceremonies will begin at 9:45 a.m. Davis and other police department employees will participate in the run, along with athletes and coaches from WCU’s athletics department and Paws the Cat, the Catamount mascot.

Abigail Blakley, a WCU alumna who is currently enrolled in the school’s master’s degree program in business administration, is the local coordinator for Special Olympics in Jackson County. “I am very glad that WCU can be part of this event,” Blakley said.

This marks the first time the Western Regional Special Olympics will be held at the high school. About 400 Special Olympians are anticipated to attend the event, as well as U.S. Rep. Heath Shuler, N.C. Sen. John Snow (who represents North Carolina’s far western counties) and representatives of the Asheville Tourists baseball club and the team’s mascot, Ted E. Tourist.

For more information, contact Pat Beasley at (828) 586-3804 or Abigail Blakley at (828) 586-8921.