What is the Law Enforcement Torch Run®?
The Law Enforcement Torch Run is the single largest year-round fundraising vehicle 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 nearly $43 million over 31 years while increasing awareness of Special Olympics athletes and their accomplishments.
Approximately 3,000 officers representing every branch of law enforcement across the state from local police officers to FBI agents are involved in the Torch Run. Many will carry the Flame of Hope nearly 1,500 miles from June 5 to 10, running through thousands of Illinois communities via 23 different legs (routes) to its final destination—the Opening Ceremony of the Special Olympics Illinois Summer Games in Normal on June 9. In addition to donations for running, officers raise money in various ways throughout the year, such as the Polar Plunge, Plane Pull, Truck Convoy, Tip-A-Cop events, golf tournaments and more.
The Law Enforcement Torch Run has selected “Guardians of the Flame” as the theme for 2017 and will be using #ILTorchRun on social media to inspire officers and departments to spread the word about how the Torch Run transforms the lives of Special Olympics athletes in Illinois.
View list of participating agencies and Illinois Law Enforcement Torch Run® Committee members.
Check here for additional Torch Run Resources.
2017 Torch Run Intrastate Relay Information
Beginning June 4, law enforcement throughout Illinois will carry the Flame of Hope nearly 1,500 miles, running through hundreds of communities via 23 different legs (routes). The Flame of Hope will ultimately be delivered to Bloomington-Normal for the Opening Ceremony of the Special Olympics Illinois Summer Games on June 9!
- Departments interested in raising donations in conjunction with their local Torch Run leg can create an online fundraising page by clicking here. For instructions on how to register, click here.
- Departments interested in participating in their local Torch Run route should contact Special Olympics Illinois at 1-800-394-0562 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
History of Illinois Law Enforcement Torch Run®
The Torch Run began in Illinois in 1986 with less than 100 runners carrying 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 2001, reached the $2 million mark in 2006 and the $3 million mark in 2013. Since 2015, the Illinois Torch Run has consistently raised $4 million for the athletes of Special Olympics Illinois.
Get Involved as an Officer, Department
To get involved with the Law Enforcement Torch Run®, call the Special Olympics Illinois State Headquarters at 1-800-394-0562 or e-mail the Torch Run Liaison, Sandy Nash.
As an officer, you can collect donations and run in the leg nearest your location. If you prefer not to run, organize a fundraiser or simply raise money for a Torch Run fundraiser. Or, encourage a local business to make a contribution or sponsor a Torch Run event. The Torch Run is one of the best marketing opportunities available. It provides the opportunity to help a worldwide movement, while enhancing the public image of major donors. Via the Torch Run, sponsors can partner with one of the most highly respected groups in the world – law enforcement!
Order Torch Run Merchandise
One of the most popular ways to raise money is by selling Torch Run T-shirts, hats, pins, Harley Davidson Raffle tickets or UTV raffle tickets. Merchandise is sold by departments for a minimum donation of $15 per shirt, $15 per hat or $5 per pin. Harley Davidson raffle tickets are $10 each and UTV raffle tickets are $10 each.
There is no cost to your department when ordering merchandise though there is a cost to our LETR program. Due to this, merchandise distribution will be tracked to help avoid an excess inventory at the end of the year. If needed, departments may order additional merchandise throughout the year.
To order merchandise for your PD, click the button below.Order Merchandise
Resources for Law Enforcement who have relatives with intellectual disabilities
The Illinois LETR is proud to represent SOILL Families! If you are a Law Enforcement Family who has a relative with an intellectual disability OR if you are a Law Enforcement Officer who has a Special Olympics athlete in your family, download the LE Family Involvement Form.
Other Ways to Support Torch Run
If you’re not a law enforcement officer, there are plenty of ways you can support the Torch Run.
- Purchase a Harley Davidson Raffle ticket from your local law enforcement officer, online or by calling the Special Olympics Illinois office at 800-394-0562.
- Purchase a raffle ticket for a Can-AM Commander valued at $17,999. Tickets can be purchased through your local law enforcement officer, online or by calling the Special Olympics Illinois office at 800-394-0562.
- Sponsor the Law Enforcement Torch Run. For information on sponsorship opportunities please contact Sandy Nash at 800-394-0562.
Upcoming Torch Run Events
It is important that Special Olympics Illinois is aware of all upcoming Torch Run Events. this will allow us to help promote your events on our website as well as ensure proper insurance coverage. To provide insurance, Special Olympics Illinois must sponsor or co-sponsor all events. Organizers simply informing us about an event being planned and insuring that all risk management guidelines are followed can meet this obligation. Click the button below to get started!
Law Enforcement Torch Run® Sponsorship
The Illinois Torch Run would not be as successful as it is without the support of the law enforcement community and sponsors.