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Torch relighting thanks

February 14, 2014
Lake Placid News

To the editor:

This community witnessed a very special moment in the relighting of the 1980 Olympic Flame Cauldron.

Now, I want you all to know about the extraordinarily special local people who voluntarily worked behind the scenes (some starting more than a year ago). If you see any of these people, please thank them for their efforts.

Starting with Butch Martin - this town's number-one event manager and a man who really cares.

Then the only two people in the entire world who can light that torch: technical expert Joe Leonard and the ultimate contributor, fireman Matt Colby.

Matt, with the support of his entire department, brought the ladder truck upon which the Stars and Stripes were so proudly displayed and the command center to light the way during the torch run. Most importantly, Matt Colby is the spark that continues to light the Olympic spirit within the J. Bernard Fell Olympic Torch Tower.

The Clark brothers, Zack and Willis, who always say, "Tell us what you want, and it will get done"; Tracy Daby, Ward Smith and all members of a too-small crew who care for our big parks; and Lake Placid Electric Department members Kim Daby, Joe Wilmot, Steve Fell and Sparky Baillargeon.

Thanks to Sue Cameron for her ability to contact the right people. Her husband Glen, who, when asked, said it best for all of us when he answered, "I would be proud and honored to participate."

To all who showed up in previous Olympic uniforms, and especially those who came in their 1980s apparel. They truly showed how special this moment was - including Judy Shea, who works to keep track of all of them.

To Mary Pat Ormsby (Carlino) and Denise Bujold, the "hostesses with the mostest," better known as the "Torchettes."

All of those from ROOST who gave us a boost - Kim Rielly for her press release and Jim McKenna for his comic release.

The always incredible Lorrie Martin, who, without warning, opened the horse show house to warm and feed us all. Also a thank-you to her assistant, Kara Kennedy.

Jeff Jacques, who supplied a bus to support the torch runners. Jeff is someone else who said, "Just tell me what you need"; driver of that bus, George Smith, who was a big help to all the runners.

To Jack Favro and Tom Smith for the Olympic Training Center bus. Amazingly, only in a true Olympic community would that bus driver be a past member of the Olympic Organization Committee, Matt Bimonte.

Larry Brockway of the Lake Placid Volunteer Ambulance Squad - yet another who said, "When and where?"

Police Chief Bill Moore, plus lead driver Chuck Dobson. Plus, two guys who stood in the cold so the Cauldron convoy could find parking: Marty Perkins and Josh Ashline.

Also, someone to whom this event and this community owe such a huge debt of gratitude and respect, Denny Allen - a man who has dedicated so many personal hours keeping the flame going. Please know there would never have been a torch run without his personal sacrifice to make it happen for us all to enjoy.

Darci LaFave, who organized the decorated group of athletes who carried the torch. In fact, they broke barriers and set a new run record.

Brian and Karen Delaney, and the Northern Adirondack Code Enforcement Officials who supported the run.

If I missed someone, please forgive me. It is because you all freely gave so this community could have one more (seemingly seamless) night to remember. Thank you all!

Yes, we did start the fire! And we all hope the world keeps spinning just a little bit better because of it.

Thank you, and God bless America!

James E. Morganson

Torch Restoration Committee and FDR ("Friend of Dennis Ryan")

Lake Placid



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