VIDEO: Police officers from the Illinois State Police, Buffalo Grove, Prospect Heights, Deerfield, Wheeling, Glenview, Northbrook, Des Plaines, Niles and Morton Grove, and Park Ridge helped with a Torch Run on Milwaukee Avenue and a Torch Run on Dempster Road (See also over 60 photos of the Special Olympics Law Enforcement Torch Run on Facebook.com/ArlingtonCardinal).
The Law Enforcement Torch Run (LETR) began in 1981 when Wichita, Kansas (USA), Police Chief Richard LaMunyon saw an urgent need to increase awareness of Special Olympics. He also saw it as an ideal way to involve local law enforcement personnel with the Special Olympics community. Law enforcement torch runs occur across the United States. This year is the 26th anniversary of the Torch event in Illinois. Last year the Torch Run raised over $2.9 million, which qualified Illinois as the second highest grossing Torch Run program in the world.
Approximately 3,000 officers representing every branch of law enforcement across the state from local police officers to FBI agents will 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 Ceremonies of the Special Olympics Illinois Summer Games in June in Normal.
This year, the Buffalo Grove leg of the Law Enforcement Torch Run was Sunday morning, June 10, 2012, starting at Milwaukee Avenue and Aptakisic Road. Officers ran southbound from Aptakisic Road to Lake-Cook Road. Police officers from Wheeling, Prospect Heights, Glenview, Northbrook and Niles picked up legs continuing south on Milwaukee Avenue along the way to the intersection of Dempster and Milwaukee Avenue. They met with Des Plaines, Morton Grove, and Park Ridge police officers at the intersection, and continued with the help of Lincolnwood police officers.
Police officers from Gurnee, Libertyville, Vernon Hills, and Lincolnshire preceded the Buffalo Grove leg. Police officers from Northfield and Skokie also participated in the event.
In Illinois, there are Special Olympics competitions happening at the local Area level, regional level, and at the state level throughout the year. In addition, there are fundraising events at both the state and Area levels that help support programming for more than 21,000 athletes with intellectual disabilities and more than 11,000 Young Athletes ages 2-7 with and without intellectual disabilities in Illinois.
The State Summer Games is held June 15, 2012 – June 17, 2012 in Normal, Illinois.
More information about area events and area fundraisers is available at the official Special Olympics Illinois website — soill.org.
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