Law Enforcement Torch Run Stories

Submitting Donations


 

LETR Revenue Collection Procedures

A best practice is to submit all donations and raffle stubs to Special Olympics Illinois within two weeks. All donations MUST be submitted within a maximum of 30 days to Special Olympics Illinois.  This is extremely important so that we can ensure accurate projection for the year and ensure all checks are processed in a timely manner. 

To submit funds please follow the below procedures:

Cash/Check Submission Procedure

The Illinois Law Enforcement Torch Run Committee adopted an in-house collection policy in 1988.  The revenue collection and reporting procedure is broken down into the following steps:

  1. A department/agency representative receives a donation.  Donations of the same type (Harley Raffle Ticket, Camper Raffle Tickets, Merchandise Sale, or General Donation) may be entered on one line via the Donor Form as long as all donations are under $100.  If a donation is for $100 or more, ensure that the donor’s name, address and donation amount are recorded on their own row on the donor form.
  2. The department/agency representative must fills out the bottom portion of the Donor form indicating their name, leg and department. Please be consistent with your department name.   Return donor forms along with all donations and raffle stubs to Special Olympics Illinois or your leg leader.  Completed forms, donations and raffle ticket stubs should be sent to Special Olympics Illinois every two.  DO NOT hold onto raffle stubs. They must be submitted along with the corresponding donation.  Please Note: All money must be submitted by December 3, 2021.  
  3. All donor forms should be checked for completeness prior to submission to Special Olympics Illinois. All money and donor form amounts must match when turned in.  DO NOT SEND CASH.  Convert all cash donations listed on the donor form to a single money order or check.  Write the words remitter cash, followed by your name on the money order/check. If NON CASH donations are converted to a money order or check written by someone other than the donor, write remitter check followed by your name on the money order/check.  On the donor form write RC next to the donation(s) included in the money order/check.  DO NOT include converted cash and non-cash donations in the same money order/check. 
  4. Special Olympics will update revenue totals and alert Leg Leaders and/or Department Liaisons as to any discrepancies in donations received versus donations listed on the donor form. 
  5. Special Olympics Illinois will send a thank you to each donor of $100 and above (cash or check as long as completed address is included on donor form). 
  6. Donations should be mailed every two weeks to maintain timeliness.

Credit Card Donations

Special Olympics Illinois will no longer accept credit card donations via paper form. All credit card donations must be made via the Bank of America Clover Go smartphone application.  ANY CREDIT CARD DONATIONS SUBMITED ON PAPER FORM WILL NOT BE PROCESSED due to Special Olympics Illinois audit requirements. 

To utilize the Clover Go application in your fundraising strategy please follow the below steps:

  1. Email TorchRun@soill.org and request a user name, password and pin for your department/agency.  Only 1 user name will be issued per department and can be used on multiple devices.
  2. Special Olympics Illinois will provide you instructions on how to utilize the app when supplying your department/agency with login information. 
  3. All donations received via your login will directly be credited to your department/agency Torch Run Totals.  We do ask that you include a total on your donor form. 

Policy

Due to Special Olympics Illinois policy, certain aspects of revenue collection must be maintained:

  1. Checks should be made out to Special Olympics Illinois
  2. No pledges are accepted and there is no billing after the event.
  3. DO NOT send cash. Use a check or money order for cash received.
  4. DO NOT open accounts under the Special Olympics or Law Enforcement Torch Run name for holding funds.  The non-profit status of Special Olympics Illinois could be jeopardized by such actions.

Virtual Plane Pull!


 

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


LETR Letter Campaign


 

Click here for more information about sending your favorite LETR Officer or Department a letter to show your support!


Lives Transformed: Special Olympics Illinois and Family, Changed Together and Forever


 

“Once you go once, there is no escaping it. You can’t help but get hooked” says Meggan Rogers talking about her experience with the Special Olympics Illinois. To her and her mother Linda Hagemann, the Special Olympics community is like a second family to them.

Meggan’s mother, Linda, is a police liaison at the Kane County State’s Attorney Office. She has worked at that office for more than 40 years. With her position, she has gained very close friendships with the officers and police departments in the area. One day, a good friend, Police Chief of East Dundee PD and State Director for Illinois Law Enforcement Torch Run, Joe Pena asked her to attend a weekend at this event called the “Special Olympics Illinois Summer Games”. She was hesitant, as she had three young daughters, Meggan, Nicole, and Sara to take care of. But, she took the opportunity, and of course, her and extremely supportive husband with everything Special Olympics Illinois, Scott, headed to Bloomington/Normal. “Just one weekend”, Linda quoted. “Well as you know, just one time turns into a lifetime”. This “one time” was in 1998, 22 years ago.

Now for Meggan, she was only at the age of four when she attended this first summer games event. From this moment, by the time she was eight, she was wanting to be a special education teacher. She, along with her sisters, became so attached to the Special Olympics, that they gave up going on a trip to Disney World, as the dates of the Summer Games would overlap their time at Disney. Meggan quoted her saying when she was younger: “No mom, we’re not going to Disney because our friends will miss us, they will be looking for us”, their friends being the Special Olympics Illinois athletes that they had become so close to.

With Meggan’s love and constant involvement with the Special Olympics community, and of course wanting to be a Special Education teacher since she was eight years old, she went on to be a Special Education teacher at Mill Creek Elementary School in Geneva. She personally works with five intellectually disabled children, or as she calls them, “kiddos”, in a self-contained room, mainly where the kids spend 70-80% of the school day. What this is, is a room, just like a classroom, where these kiddos are taught more life-based information and instruction. Now for the other 20-30% of the school day, the students spend their time with other children in the school, whether that be at recess, lunch, or other school gatherings. “I look at it now (being involved with the Special Olympics) as a teacher, I wish more parents and more families would teach that acceptance and provide those opportunities to kids, just to make the world a better place”.

For Linda, she could not be more proud of her daughter Meggan and the direction she has gone with helping intellectually disabled children. She herself stays involved with Special Olympics Illinois to this day:

“Those were some amazing family times. Watching the girls grow up with the love they have for the athletes, the excitement, looking for certain athletes they had bonded with, had started a relationship with. As parents, Scott and I were so proud of them, and I think they grew up accepting everybody…they grew up around these athletes that they were just like them. The athletes were just like them”.

She, along with her family, wants people to understand that someone who is intellectually disabled is no different than us. They can do the same, if not more, than many of us! They are able to touch our hearts and change the lives of many, just as they did for Linda and Meggan.


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!”