More than 400 runners gathered on May 28 to participate in Special Olympics Missouri's Law Enforcement Torch Run.

Soldiers from Fort Leonard Wood ran alongside Missouri State Highway Patrol officers and neighboring police departments that included officers from St. Robert, Waynesville, Rolla and Springfield.

The 7-mile run is one of Special Olympics Missouri's many fundraising events throughout the year spearheaded by local law enforcement.

Lt. Steve Davis of the Missouri State Highway Patrol in Rolla coordinated this year's regional event.

"I'm real big on raising money and awareness for Special Olympics and the athletes," he said.

Davis has been involved with the organization since 1997, and his passion for the athletes is the motivation behind his fundraising efforts.

"Seeing departments from all across the region come together as one to support the Special Olympics athletes from our state is what it's all about," Davis said.

As runners made their way from St. Robert's community center to Gerlach Field, President and CEO of Special Olympics Missouri, Mark Musso, cheered them along.

"Anything that involves Fort Leonard Wood and Special Olympics Missouri, I am going to make a top priority," Musso said of his choice to select the local run out of 16 others taking place at the same time around the state.