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Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics

June 3, 2022 @ 10:30 am - 1:30 pm

The mission of the Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics is to raise funds for and awareness of the Special Olympics movement worldwide. Law enforcement officers from every state and more than 30 countries carry the Flame of Hope in honor of the Special Olympics athletes in their area and around the world.

The Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics is an international series of torch relays, run by law enforcement officers, that lead up to each state or nation’s Special Olympics Summer Games. Law enforcement officers raise money in conjunction with their respective Torch Runs for their local Special Olympics programs. What was originally designed to be an independent law enforcement effort, has evolved into a joint partnership between Special Olympics and Law Enforcement.

The Law Enforcement Torch Run is Special Olympics’ largest grassroots fund-raiser and public awareness vehicle. In 2002, this international event raised more than $20.5 million for Special Olympics programs. Nearly 80,000 law enforcement officers carried the Flame of Hope around 50 states, 32 nations and 10 Canadian provinces and territories raising awareness and funds for Special Olympics.

The Law Enforcement Torch Run began in 1981 when Wichita, Kansas Police Chief Richard LaMunyon saw an urgent need to raise funds for and increase awareness of Special Olympics. He conceived the idea of a Torch Run as a way to involve local law enforcement personnel in the community with Special Olympics. After three years of successful Torch Runs in Kansas, LaMunyon presented the program to the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP). With IACP’s enthusiastic support and leadership, as well as the involvement of all facets of the law enforcement community, Sheriff’s associations, police unions, state, county, municipal, military, and federal law enforcement, and corrections officers, the Torch Run expanded into seven states by 1985; 43 states by 1986, and 50 states and 25 nations in 1997.


June 3, 2022
10:30 am - 1:30 pm
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