On May 14, the Special Olympics Flame of Hope for the Special Olympics World Games Los Angeles 2015 was lit during a formal torch lighting ceremony by the sun’s rays at the Sacred Site of Pnyx, opposite the Acropolis in Athens, Greece. On May 26, the Flame of Hope will travel to Washington, D.C., in time for the start of the Special Olympics Unified Relay Across America presented by Bank of America.
Over the course of 46 days, in a hand-to-hand exchange, thousands of participants will run, walk or bike a segment of the relay in this team and individual fundraising event as it passes through all 50 states via 3 routes.
The Lake County Sheriff’s Office has been a long-time supporter of Special Olympics Illinois and frequently champion Law Enforcement Torch Run fundraisers. Each year they participate in a mix of events like the Polar Plunge, Dunkin’ Donuts Cop on a Rooftop and Plane Pull. They also have an office run in the Final Leg of the Torch Run before the Opening Ceremony at Special Olympics Illinois Summer Games in Normal.
When the Unified Relay was announced, this event was no different. Deputy Sheriff Dave McNichol said when he presented the idea to his department “enthusiasm was great.”
The Lake County Sheriff’s Office Team has already raised more than $1,700 for this event and it is still climbing.
“One of my favorite things about Special Olympics Illinois is seeing the smiles on the athletes’ faces when you award them with medals for their awesome achievements,” says Deputy Sheriff Dave McNichol of the Lake County Sheriff’s Office.
“This is a rewarding feeling in knowing how you can make a Special Olympics athlete’s dream come true with support and recognition,” McNichol continued. “Getting involved brings awareness and support for this great organization and it recognizes these athletes for their great achievements.”
The Unified Relay travels through Illinois via two routes. The Central Route will pass through Southern Illinois June 8-9 and the Northern Route will come through Chicago June 12-14. The Lake County Sheriff’s Office Team will participate in the Northern Route.
The Unified Relay will culminate at the Opening Ceremony of the 2015 World Games in Los Angeles on July 25.
If you’d like to support the Lake County Sheriff’s Office or another Illinois Unified Relay team, please click here.
All Unified Relay participants must register and fundraise by May 25. For more information and to register, please visit www.soill.org/unified-relay.