With the 2015 Special Olympic World Games set to begin in Los Angeles on July 25, the famous Olympic torch—called the Flame of Hope—will make a special appearance in Palmdale on July 17. Palmdale is a host city for the 2015 Special Olympics and contestants from St. Lucia and Cyprus will reside briefly in town.

A Special Olympics runner and an international police officer will carry the torch from Summerwind Elementary School to the main entrance of the Antelope Valley Mall. Once at the mall, a ceremony with dignitaries will be conducted at 3 p.m. to raise awareness about the Special Olympics. The Olympic runner and police officer will explain the significance of the Flame of Hope and the Special Olympics World Games.

The Flame of Hope began its journey in Athens, Greece, on May 14. It was transported to Washington, D.C., where on May 26 it was used to ignite two other flames. The three Flame of Hope torches are touring each state in an event called the Unified Relay Across America. Traveling west, each of the three routes across the country will culminate in Los Angeles on July 10.

The United States hosted the Special Olympic World Games in 1999.

For more details about the arrival of the Flame of Hope in Palmdale, contact Los Angeles Sheriff’s Deputy Omar Chavez at (661) 272-2587 or Deputy Eric Caplinger at (661) 272-2588. You may also visit www.palmdale.lasd.org for more information. To follow the Flame of Hope on its journey to Palmdale or to sign-up to be part of the Unified Relay Across America, visit www.unifiedrelay.org.