EDWARDSVILLE – Visitors to the Edwardsville Schnucks store this weekend will be able to chat with members of the Edwardsville Police Department and support a great cause: Special Olympics Illinois. Past and present members of the Police Department will volunteer their time on Friday, Saturday and Sunday (August 25-27) at the entrance to Schnucks, 2222 Troy Road.

They will be collecting donations and selling special edition Law Enforcement Torch Run T-shirts, hats, pins and raffle tickets. The effort supports Special Olympics Illinois, which provides training and competition for more than 55,000 athletes, coaches, volunteers and other partners in the state.

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The volunteers will be at Schnucks this Friday from 4-8 p.m., and on Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Edwardsville Officer Haylee Doerflein is heading up the local effort and hoping for an enthusiastic response from the community. Doerflein, who is marking her one-year anniversary with the department, said the cause is especially dear to her heart because she has a brother and stepbrother with special needs.

“It’s a good cause and a great opportunity to be involved,” she said. “This brings more awareness to the public and to the organization as a whole. It’s a nice support system.” Members of the City’s Police Department have supported Special Olympics Illinois for more than a quarter of a century. The department also takes part in the annual Law Enforcement Torch Run, with officers from throughout the state carrying the Flame of Hope to its final destination, the opening ceremony of the Special Olympics Illinois Games in June. This weekend’s effort is part of Law Enforcement Torch Run Days, sponsored by Schnucks.

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