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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Springfield-Greene County 911 Emergency Communications Director Zim Schwartze is an avid runner and fitness aficionado. But running with an Olympic torch through eight of the United States next week will be a first for her. Schwartze is one of seven active or retired law enforcement officers chosen to escort the “Flame of Hope” for the Special Olympics Unified Relay Across America’s central White Route. "It is humbling to have been chosen for the Law Enforcement Torch Run to escort the Flame of Hope for our athletes,” Schwartze says. "I'm excited to meet many people along the way that will be running and biking with me to show their support for Special Olympics worldwide. I run to honor our Special Olympics athletes.” Schwartze will join the route in St. Louis on June 10 and escort the torch through eight states to Boulder, Colorado, where she will hand off the torch to another law enforcement officer for its last leg to the 2015 Special Olympics World Games in L.A. The torch will stop in Springfield overnight June 18. Several teams, including Schwartze’s co-workers at the City of Springfield and Springfield Police Department, have signed up to run with the torch as it makes its way into Springfield. Schwartze encourages citizens to come out and watch the Flame of Hope come into Springfield, join the tailgate party scheduled for 5-7 p.m.June 18 at Jordan Valley Park, and watch the flame continue southbound toward Arkansas on June 19. The Unified Relay Across America is a nationwide event, sponsored by Bank of America, promoting the 2015 Special Olympics World Games that take place in Los Angeles in July. More than 20,000 runners, walkers and cyclists are expected to take part in three simultaneous routes touching all 50 states over 46 days. There will be nightly torch arrival ceremonies as well as Unified Sports and concerts along the route through Missouri June 9-12 and 17-19. # # # For more information please contact Zim Schwartze at 417-829-6209 or [email protected]