North Carolina Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics honors outstanding individuals and agencies with awards

The North Carolina Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics recently presented state-level awards to outstanding individuals and law enforcement agencies that support Special Olympics in North Carolina at the 2017 Torch Run conference in Pinehurst, according to Claudia Morgan, co-director of the Torch Run and officer with the Winston-Salem Police Department.   

Law Enforcement officers and agencies honored at the conference include:

Chief Earl Phipps of the Pinehurst Police Department was honored with the 2016 Chief of the Year Award for his dedication to the mission of the North Carolina Law Enforcement Torch Run and support of Special Olympics. Phipps currently serves on the SONC Board of Directors and has previously been a member of the NC Torch Run Council.  With his leadership, his department raised almost $23,000 for Special Olympics in 2016 and holds a very successful Polar Plunge fundraiser each year.  He played a major role in organizing and facilitating the annual Torch Run conference in his community.        

Sheriff Alan Cloninger of the Gaston County Sheriff’s Office was honored with the 2016 Sheriff of the Year award for his strong example of leadership, dedication and commitment to the NC Law Enforcement Torch Run. He strongly encourages his department in their fundraising efforts, joining them this year by raising funds to go Over the Edge for Special Olympics North Carolina. In 2016, his agency raised funds and awareness for the organization through multiple fundraisers. 

Major Cam Selvey of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department was honored with the 2016 Guardian of the Flame award for his ingenuity, motivation, commitment and dedication to the Torch Run. The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department held a successful Cops-on-Top, helping them to raise $42,000 for Special Olympics NC. Additionally, Major Selvey organizes a Torch Run relay leg in his community each May and provides escort support to the World’s Largest Truck Convoy fundraiser in Charlotte each year.  

New Hanover County Sheriff’s Office was honored with the Torch Run Director’s Award for their significant and consistent fundraising efforts within the Torch Run.  The New Hanover County Sheriff’s Office has raised more than $110,000 for the NC Law Enforcement Torch Run in just 14 years.  In addition to donations collected for T-shirts, this agency hosts multiple special events and participates in a variety of unique fundraisers. 

Kernersville Police Department was honored with the 2016 Most Improved Agency award for increasing their new revenue the most since the 2015 fundraising campaign. In 2016, Kernersville Police Department raised nearly $25,000 more than in 2015 due in part to merchandise donations and a very successful Cops-on-Top. 

Jacksonville Police Department was honored with the 2016 Best New Fundraiser award in recognition of their innovative take on the Run WITH the Law fundraiser, raising $12,000 more than in 2015.

UNC Hospital Police Department in Chapel Hill was honored with the 2016 Top New Agency award for raising the most funds in their first year. The UNC Hospital Police Department raised over $6,000 for Special Olympics thanks to a golf tournament, Tip-a-Cop and merchandise donations.

Holly Springs Police Department was also honored with the 2016 Top New Agency award for raising over $21,000 in 2016, ranking the agency in the top 20 agencies statewide in their first year as part of the Torch Run. They raised funds through merchandise donations, a Fit for Duty CrossFit event, a fun run/walk and valuable community donations. 

Robin Callaway of Charlotte, Dustin Edmondson of Greensboro and Casey Phillips of Raleigh were also presented with a plaque recognizing their service as Athlete Ambassadors on the North Carolina Torch Run Council. 

“The hard work and fundraising efforts of the Law Enforcement Torch Run officers allows us to provide first class sports training, competition, and development for Special Olympics athletes and volunteers,” said Morgan.  “These individuals and agencies have made an immeasurable impact on the lives of Special Olympics NC athletes.  Their efforts have helped make Special Olympics North Carolina one of the best sports programs in the world.”

To obtain a photo of any of the NC Torch Run award winners, please contact, Rachel McQuiston, Special Olympics NC vice president of communications, at 919-719-7662, ext. 110.

To learn more about the LETR efforts in your area, contact Leslie Moyar, Director of Development for the NC Torch Run, at 1-800-843-6276 ext. 123. (NC Only) 

About the NC Law Enforcement Torch Run

The Law Enforcement Torch Run is an international fundraising campaign for Special Olympics. Special Olympics provides year-round sports training and competition for more than 4.7 million children and adults around the world who have intellectual disabilities. In 2016, the NC Torch Run efforts resulted in over $1.2 million being raised for SONC.  Nearly 40,000 athletes participate in Special Olympics in North Carolina, making it one of the largest Special Olympics programs in the world.

The Law Enforcement Torch Run® for Special Olympics is officially endorsed by the International Association of Chiefs of Police, the North Carolina Association of Chiefs of Police, the National Sheriff’s Association, the North Carolina Sheriff’s Association, the International Association of Campus Law Enforcement Administrators, the National Association of School Resource Officers, NC Association of School Resource Officers, NC Department of Justice and the NC Department of Public Safety.

 About Special Olympics North Carolina

Special Olympics North Carolina offers year-round sports training and competition for nearly 40,000 children and adults with intellectual disabilities. These athletes inspire greatness through their success and provide motivation to the thousands of coaches, sports officials, local program committee members and event organizers involved in Special Olympics statewide.  SONC offers Olympic-type competition in 19 sports on local and state levels as well as health and wellness initiatives to improve the health status and increase access to community health resources for individuals with intellectual disabilities. Youth become agents of change through Unified Champion Schools, an education and sports based program created by Special Olympics to build an inclusive environment among youth with and without intellectual disabilities as well as empower them to become youth leaders and create change in their community. Visit Special Olympics North Carolina at Engage with us on;, and

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