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NC Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics kicks off 2017 fundraising & awareness campaign

The North Carolina Law Enforcement Torch for Special Olympics kicked off its 2017 campaign of raising funds and awareness for Special Olympics North Carolina during an annual conference held in Pinehurst.   NC Law Enforcement Torch Run Co-Directors DK Jones, retired from the Guilford County Sheriff’s Office, and Claudia Morgan of the Winston-Salem Police Department presided over the conference. 

“In 2016, law enforcement agencies from throughout North Carolina raised over $1.2 million for Special Olympics North Carolina and our goal in 2017 is to raise $1.3 million,” Morgan said.  The Winston-Salem Police Department led the way in the fundraising efforts with nearly $50,600 raised. 

The North Carolina Law Enforcement Torch Run® for Special Olympics unites officers in the law enforcement field from across the state in an effort to raise funds and awareness for Special Olympics North Carolina. The Torch Run efforts to raise funds include securing corporate sponsorships, collecting donations for T-shirt and hats, and hosting unique fundraising events such as Tip-A-Cop days at restaurants, polar plunges, Over the Edge, a Plane Pull, and golf tournaments.

Each year, a unique T-shirt design is created for two types of shirts and made available for donations of $15 for a traditional cotton T-shirt and $20 for a tech running-style shirt. Baseball hats are also available for $15 each. 

The annual North Carolina Law Enforcement Torch Run Conference was held Jan. 30-Feb. 1 in Pinehurst for law enforcement personnel to learn about the 2017 campaign and provide ideas for conducting a successful Torch Run.  More than 200 people representing a wide array of law enforcement attended. 

Each summer, law enforcement officials carry the Flame of Hope across the state in the NC Torch Run Final Leg, culminating in the lighting of the cauldron to officially open the Special Olympics North Carolina Summer Games in Raleigh. The 2,000-mile, 20-day Torch Run Relay involves more than 2,500 law enforcement officers and personnel representing more than 200 law enforcement agencies across North Carolina. The 2017 SONC Summer Games will be June 2-4 in Raleigh, Cary and Holly Springs with the opening ceremonies planned for the first time to be held in NC State University’s Reynolds Coliseum. 

Globally, the Law Enforcement Torch Run® for Special Olympics is an annual fundraising and public education campaign conducted by law enforcement personnel that raises millions of dollars for Special Olympics in 49 countries, with the strongest support being in the United States and Canada. Since its inception in 1981, more than $619 million has been raised! Well over 97,000 law enforcement officers make the Torch Run efforts a success which helps Special Olympics fulfill its philosophy of never requiring its athletes to pay registration costs for their participation.

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. For more information about the NCLETR, visit www.nctorchrun.com.

2016 Top 10 North Carolina Law Enforcement Torch Run agencies: 

1) Winston-Salem Police Department – $50,587.67

2) Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department – $41,114.21

3) Chapel Hill Police Department – $37,028.27

4) Guilford County Sheriff’s Office – $35,463.05

5) Fayetteville Police Department – $30,016.23

6) Haywood County Sheriff’s Office – $29,872.33

7) Raleigh Police Department – $28,623.78

8) Kernersville Police Department – $27,970.97

9) Greensboro Police Department – $27,891.40 

10) New Hanover Sheriff’s Office – $25,222.50

A full list of Torch Run agency rankings can be found here

Official sponsors of the 2017 NC Torch Run include: Premier Level: Credit Suisse and Walmart Foundation; Gold Level: Prudential Life North Carolina 401k, DMJ, Powers & Thomas Midway Entertainment, Mark Jacobson Toyota, Publix, State Employees Combined Campaign and Cafe Carolina and Bakery; Silver Level: AAA Carolinas, HMS Host, UPS and SportClips; Bronze Level: Family Fare, Bob Barker, Relias Learning, DECI, Arthur R Clark, Cisco and Mike Johnson’s Toyota-Hickory; Guardian Partners: Sheetz, Chick-fil-A and Red Robin Gourmet Burgers.

For more information about the Torch Run efforts in your community, contact Leslie Moyar at lmoyar@sonc.net or 800.843.6276, ext. 123.

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 www.specialolympicsnc.com. Engage with us on http://twitter.com/sonc_beafan; http://www.facebook.com/SpecialOlympicsNC, https://www.instagram.com/specialolympics_nc and http://www.youtube.com/BeAFanSONC.

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