By Steve Tawa

VILLANOVA, Pa. (CBS) — The Special Olympics Fall Festival is underway at Villanova University, the largest student-run Special Olympics event in the world.

Opening ceremonies were held today on the steps of the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

The “Law Enforcement Torch Run” began with Pennridge police chief Dave Mettin (background left in photo) holding the torch, handing it off to Special Olympics athletes about to set off on a 13-mile run to Villanova.

Mettin is the statewide director of the program that unites officers from various jurisdictions to raise funds and awareness for Special Olympics Pennsylvania.

“We’re on track to raise over $1 million for Special Olympics athletes this year, just in Pennsylvania,” Mettin said today.

Special Olympics Pennsylvania CEO Matt Aaron says it’s a wonderful partnership.

“Last year, globally, they raised more than $40 million for Special Olympics,” he tells KYW Newsradio.

The funds allow the athletes to train and compete.

“The most important thing about that is that the athletes in Special Olympics themselves do not pay to participate,” Aaron says.

Villanova plays host this weekend to 1,000 athletes who will compete in soccer, volleyball, roller skating, powerlifting, bocce, and long distance running.


Top Content On CBSPhilly

More From CBS Philly

Latest Videos
Latest Forecast

Watch & Listen LIVE