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April 16, 2014 | North America: Southern California

Carrying the "Flame of Hope" to Boston

By Selena Devore

Erich Gross of Santa Maria, CA, has been a long-time supporter of Special Olympics and the Law Enforcement Torch Run (LETR). In 2013, Erich qualified for the Boston Marathon and decided to fundraise for Special Olympics. "I wanted to share the joy of my experience with Special Olympics," said Erich. On April 15, as he neared the Boston Marathon finish line, 4:05:03 on the clock, all the runners near him stopped. Erich came home with a heavy heart. Shortly after his return, he registered for the Bull Canyon Run benefiting Special Olympics Northern Santa Barbara County. Ken George, the local LETR coordinator, asked Erich to finish the Boston Marathon during the event. Prior to the start, 4:05:03 was placed on the clock to honor the Boston Marathon bombing victims. Erich then ran the final leg of the Boston Marathon in Santa Maria. When he crossed the finish line, he symbolically received his Boston Marathon medal.Through Erich’s efforts, he raised more than $8,000 for Special Olympics.

About Selena Devore: Communications Assistant at Special Olympics Southern California

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