LETR Events Stories

2021 Truck Convoy


 

The Illinois Law Enforcement Torch Run will host three Truck Convoy events in 2021! Click here for more information!


Virtual Plane Pull!


 

The Illinois Law Enforcement Torch Run is delighted to launch the 2020 Virtual Plane Pull for Special Olympics Illinois!


Super Plunge Celebrates 15 Years of Jumping into Icy Waters


 
Mary Pocuis carry’s the Eternal Flame.

February 21st at 1:00 p.m. sharp, a group of 46 SUPER Plungers began the first of 24 icy dips into Lake Michigan over 24 hours, all to benefit the athletes of Special Olympics Illinois.

This year, the SUPER Plunge celebrates its 15th year of bringing individuals – from all walks of life – together for one common cause. Among the group was a first-time SUPER Plunger, Director of Illinois State Police, Brendan Kelly, and as well as longtime SUPER Plungers Mary Pocuis and Mike McDermott.

For most, this event may seem unbearable or impossible, but for Brendan, Mary, and Mike, it is just another way to give back to the athletes.

Mary Pocuis and Mike McDermott center.

“The men and women who serve in the Illinois State Police believe in the best of humanity and lifting people up, so supporting Special Olympics Illinois is a natural fit,” said Director Kelly.

Director Kelly and his team are looking forward to continuing to SUPER Plunge next year and for years to come. They hope to become as experienced as Mary and Mike, who have been plunging since the event’s inception, 15 years ago.

For Mary, the experience is a subtle reminder of why continuing to plunge is so important. “We do crazy things, for all the right reasons,” said Mary. “It’s about the athletes that we serve here in Illinois.”

Illinois State Police are our heroes no matter what uniform they wear!

Being a leg leader for DuPage County, Mary tries to gain as much continued support as possible from her fellow officers. She does not ask her fellow officers to support something she would not do herself.

As of the 2020 SUPER Plunge, Mary and Mike’s warm hearts have taken 360 plunges over 15 years – a record here in Illinois.

“I would have never stayed this long without the great people involved in the Torch Run that keep us motivated to jump in the freezing lake,” said Mike.

Illinois State Police take the Plunge

After 24 hours of plunging into ice-cold water, morale can be low, but not for this group. They pulled through until the end, raising over $131,000 with 46 total SUPER plungers. The SUPER Plunge could not have been a success without the help of many contributors, including Statewide-presenting sponsor, GEICO.

As a result of support from first-time plungers like Brendan and long-time plungers like Mike and Mary, the SUPER Plunge has had continued success. On the 24th plunge, Mary turned to Mike and said, “I’m coming back next year, and so are you!”


Three Truck Convoys One Common Cause


 

This fall, law enforcement and truckers throughout the state joined to support Special Olympics Illinois. Officers involved in the Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics Illinois adopted the Truck Convoy as one of their annual signature events, and now the group hosts three Truck Convoys across Illinois: the Sears Centre Convoy in Hoffman Estates, the Troy Truck Convoy (hosted by CIT Trucks), and the Tinley Park Convoy (presented by Action Truck Parts). Together, these events raised $160,000, and in total, 285 trucks participated.

The annual event not only raises funds to benefit the athletes of Special Olympics Illinois, but it also fosters long-time friendships.

Mark Hohs, a long-time driver for Jewel-Osco, is set to retire after 37 years of unwavering devotion to the company. Upon retirement, Mark will “pass the Truck Convoy torch” to fellow Jewel-Osco driver, Jim Bowen, who also has close ties to Special Olympics Illinois.

Mark began driving in the Truck Convoys through working at Jewel-Osco. Jewel-Osco is a proud sponsor of Special Olympics Illinois and was well represented on the road during the Truck Convoys.

The past four years, Mark participated in the Sears Centre and Tinley Park Convoys, this year being his final year of participation. Over those four years, Mark grew close to Steve Katz, a Special Olympics Illinois athlete from Arlington Heights. From the beginning, the two bonded, as they both are proud employees of Jewel-Osco. The duo drove together during the Sears Centre and Tinley Park Convoys for four years straight.

While driving in the convoy, Mark was never short of encouragement and laughter from his trusty co-pilot, Steve. Mark and Steve would banter on about which truck would lead the group in the convoy this year.

Year after year, Mark walked away from the convoys feeling empowered due to Steve’s motivating attitude to always try his best.

Steve taught Mark what it truly means to be an athlete — commitment, passion, and the “be brave in the attempt” effort it takes to compete.

“I am very proud of Jewel-Osco’s involvement with Special Olympics Illinois,” said Hohs. “Because of Jewel-Osco, I met Steve, which created lasting memories that the two of us will share.”

We graciously thank Mark for his dedication to Special Olympics Illinois and welcome Jim with open arms to our Special Olympics Illinois family.


2019 Plane Pull


 

What is the Plane Pull?

The Plane Pull is the ultimate tug-of-war competition as teams compete to pull an aircraft 12 feet as quickly as possible.  Awards are given to the fastest pull in each division, fastest pull overall and top fundraising team.

In 2019, Special Olympics Illinois and the Illinois Law Enforcement Torch Run will partner to host Plane Pull events at three locations. The 11th annual O’Hare Plane Pull will take place on Saturday, September 28 at the United Airlines Cargo facility. Our Southern Illinois Plane Pull is scheduled for Saturday, October 5 at the Southern Illinois Airport in Carbondale. The inaugural Lewis Plane Pull will take place at Lewis University Airport in Romeoville on April 27, 2019!

Click the images below for more details or to register for your local Plane Pull event!