On the morning of Friday, June 7, 2019, Hopatcong High School student Lily King accompanied Hopatcong School Resource Officer Rich Sadowski and Police Officers from Hopatcong, Byram, Stanhope and Netcong on the final stretch of their portion of the NJ Torch Run.
The NJ Torch Run official website describes the event as follows, “On Friday, June 7th more than 3,000 officers will take to the streets of their local communities on one of 26 separate routes to help carry the “Flame of Hope” to the Special Olympics New Jersey Summer Games. The culmination of the run is the lighting of the Special Olympics New Jersey cauldron at the Opening Ceremony to officially open the 2019 Summer Games, an event that features more than 2,500 Special Olympics athletes.”
Officer Sadowski took Lily in his patrol car to Blessed Kateri Church in Sparta to meet the group of officers running from the church to Shoprite in Netcong. From there, the group ran while Lily and Officer Rich drove behind them and cheered for them along the way. Once in Netcong, both Lily and Officer Sadowski joined the group to run down Main Street and up to Shoprite on Route 46 where Lily passed the torch to Roxbury Police Chief Marc Palanchi.
Students and staff from Hopatcong High School were in Netcong to cheer on Lily, Officer Sadowski and all of the other Police Officers participating in the run. Hopatcong High School Students Abigail Dekkar, Isabel Yarosz, Danijela Filipovic and Jack Hadowanitz made signs for Lily and Officer Sadowski and cheered for everyone along with Hopatcong High School staff members Julie Wilson, Hank Fattorusso and Laurie Solberg. Shoprite in Netcong provided water and fruit for all of the participants.