Beginning Sunday, June 7, 2015 area law enforcement officers will be running through the streets of their communities to raise money and awareness for Special Olympics. Throughout the week, 3,000 officers representing every branch of law enforcement will cover the 23 legs of the Illinois Law Enforcement Torch Run.
On Wednesday, June 10th beginning at 6am Rockford Police Officers, Rockford Park District Police Officers, Loves Park Police Officers, Rock Valley College Police Officers, South Beloit Police Officers, Rockton Police Officers, Winnebago County Sheriff’s Deputies, Illinois State Police Troopers and agents with the FBI will carry the “Flame of Hope” through the streets of South Beloit, Rockton, Machesney Park, Loves Park and Rockford.
The Illinois Law Enforcement Torch Run is the single largest year-round fund-raising event benefiting Special Olympics Illinois. This intrastate relay and its various fundraisers have two goals: to raise money and increase public awareness for the athletes of Special Olympics. Each year, officers in Illinois run more than 1500 miles carrying the Flame of Hope through the streets of their hometowns and deliver it to the State Summer Games in Normal in June.
This year is the 29th running of the Law Enforcement Torch Run in Illinois. When it began in 1986, the Torch Run raised $16,000. It has since grown into the largest fundraiser of Special Olympics Illinois. More than $3.8 million was raised last year by the Illinois Law Enforcement Torch Run, making it the fourth highest grossing program in the world!
Illinois’ Torch Run program has raised over $30 million since its inception in 1986.
Special Olympics Illinois (SO ILL) provides year-round training and competition in 19 different sports to children and adults with intellectual disabilities. Currently, SO ILL serves more than 21,300 children and adults with intellectual disabilities and nearly 13,000 Young Athletes (ages 2-7) with and without intellectual disabilities. All athletes participate at no cost to themselves or their families! The benefits of Special Olympics for the athletes are tremendous-including physical fitness, sports skills, self-esteem and especially the social benefits. Special Olympics transforms the lives of people with intellectual disabilities.