MARQUETTE TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WJMN) – There was a substantial presence of law enforcement in Marquette Township on Friday. Sheriff’s deputies, correctional officers, State Police Troopers, and NMU campus police joined forces to support Special Olympics athletes in the Upper Peninsula.

Authorities were at Dunkin Donuts in Marquette Township from 5 a.m. to 11 a.m. Friday. They were collecting donations for Special Olympics Michigan Area 36.

Donations help athletes and their families to eliminate any costs or borders keeping them from competing.

Athletes in the Upper Peninsula will need a little more help in the coming months. A fire in a storage facility earlier this month burned through everything from uniforms to equipment. Insurance will help cover some of the costs, but with competition scheduled for June in the lower part of the state, there won’t be enough time to recover everything.

“It means the world to them,” said Carla White with Special Olympics of Marquette County. “It’s life changing for them to go out and do the sports that they love to compete at and just being included. They are one of us and they know it and they feel loved. They’ve changed my life more than I’ve changed theirs for the better. It’s huge.”

If you want to know more, you can find the Law Enforcement Torch Run Facebook page here.

If you want to know more about Special Olympics Michigan, you can find their website here.

Marquette wasn’t the only U.P. location raising Money on Friday. Authorities in Iron Mountain and Menominee also participated.