Law Enforcement Torch Run
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. In 2019, the Illinois Torch Run surpassed and raised over $5 million.
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 Law Enforcement Torch Run includes an annual intrastate relay conducted by officers representing every branch of law enforcement within the state as well as our federal partners. Approximately 3,000 officers carry the Flame of Hope nearly 1,500 miles, 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.
Due to the pandemic, the Illinois Law Enforcement Torch Run intrastate relay will be held in a hybrid format the week of June 21st in conjunction with the 2021 Special Olympics Illinois Virtual Summer Games.
In addition, the Law Enforcement Torch Run hosts a variety of annual fundraising events including Polar Plunges, Dunkin’ Cop on Rooftop, Tip-A-Cop events, Truck Convoys and Plane Pull events. Since 1986, the Law Enforcement Torch Run has raised more than $59 million while increasing awareness of Special Olympics Illinois athletes and their accomplishments.
The Illinois Law Enforcement Torch Run has selected “Guardians of the Flame” as the theme for 2021 and will be using #ILTorchRun21 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. In 2018, members of the Illinois State Police family raised $74,228.24.
Together, we made 2019 a great year for Special Olympic athletes by raising over $103,000, allowing them to experience the excitement and sense of fulfillment the Illinois Special Olympics can bring.