Illinois Law Enforcement Torch Run (LETR) To Benefit Special Olympics
Illinois Law Enforcement Torch Run History
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.
What is the Law Enforcement Torch Run®?
The Law Enforcement Torch Run is the single largest year-round fundraising movement benefiting Special Olympics Illinois. The Torch Run has two goals – to raise money and to gain awareness for the athletes who participate in Special Olympics Illinois. The LETR has raised more than $51 million over 33 years while increasing awareness of Special Olympics athletes and their accomplishments.
The Torch Run includes an annual intrastate relay conducted by officers representing every branch of law enforcement across the state from local police officers to FBI agents. Approximately 3,000 officers will carry the Flame of Hope nearly 1,500 miles from June 2 – 7, 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 on June 7 in Normal.
In addition, the Law Enforcement Torch Run hosts a variety of annual fundraising events including Polar Plunges, Dunkin’ Donuts Cop on Rooftop, Texas Roadhouse Benefit Lunch, World’s Largest Truck Convoy and Plane Pull events. Since 1986, the Law Enforcement Torch Run has raised more than $51 million while increasing awareness of Special Olympics Illinois athletes and their accomplishments.
The Law Enforcement Torch Run has selected “Guardians of the Flame” as the theme for 2018 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.
SOILL, LETR, and the Illinois State Police
The Department will be participating in the Illinois Law Enforcement Torch Run (LETR) for Special Olympics Illinois (SOILL) in 2019, where hundreds of officers and volunteers will carry the Flame of Hope nearly 1,500 miles through thousands of Illinois communities via 23 different legs (routes) to its final destination – the Opening Ceremony of the SOILL Summer Games in Normal, Illinois.
Traditionally, the law enforcement community in Illinois has been the largest contributor for funding towards this important event throughout the year with self-initiated fund raisers. The LETR raised $4.4 million in 2017! All your efforts established the 2017 ISP Torch Run in sixth place out of approximately 309 law enforcement agencies representing every branch of law enforcement across the state by raising $57,407.49. So far for 2018, members of the Illinois State Police family have raised over $74,000.
Together, we can make 2019 a great year for Special Olympic athletes to experience the excitement and sense of fulfillment the Illinois Special Olympics can bring.