Law Enforcement Torch Run
WHAT IS THE LAW ENFORCEMENT TORCH RUN?
The Law Enforcement Torch Run is the single largest year-round fundraising event benefiting Special Olympics Illinois. The annual intrastate relay and its various fundraising projects have two goals: to raise money and to gain awareness for the athletes who participate in Special Olympics Illinois. The Law Enforcement Torch Run has raised more than $16.825 million over 23 years while increasing awareness of Special Olympics Illinois athletes and their accomplishments.
Approximately 3,000 officers representing every branch of law enforcement across the state from local police officers to FBI agents will carry the Flame of Hope nearly 1,500 miles, running through thousands of Illinois communities via 23 different legs (routes) to its final destination – the Opening Ceremonies of the Special Olympics Illinois Summer Games in June in Normal.
HISTORY OF ILLINOIS LAW ENFORCEMENT TORCH RUN
The Law Enforcement Torch Run began in Illinois in 1986. That first year, fewer than 100 runners carried the torch along five legs: North (starting in South Beloit), South (starting in Cairo), West (starting in Quincy), East (starting in Danville) and the city of Chicago.
Illinois’ first Torch Run raised just $14,039.93, but the seed was planted for future growth. The Torch Run raised $500,000 in Illinois in 1997. Illinois easily surpassed the $1 million mark in 2002 and first raised more than $2 million in 2006, making it the third highest grossing Torch Run program in the world.