Special Olympics Flame of Hope travels across the state to open the 2018 Special Olympics North Carolina Summer Games

Law enforcement officers will relay the torch across the state to Raleigh by June 1 

Raleigh, NC – Law enforcement officers throughout North Carolina will carry the Special Olympics Flame of Hope across the state this spring to light the cauldron at the 2018 Special Olympics North Carolina (SONC) Summer Games Opening Ceremony June 1 at Reynolds Coliseum on North Carolina State University’s campus in Raleigh, according to SONC President/CEO Keith L. Fishburne.

Editors’ Note – A complete list of Torch Run legs, contacts and schedules surrounding each leg can be found at legs and details are being added daily, please check the website for details on a NC Torch Run Relay Leg in your community.  Contact Leslie Moyar, SONC Director of Development NC Torch Run at 919-719-7662 x 123 for more information.

The 32nd annual NC Law Enforcement Torch Run Relay for Special Olympics will include the following routes: 

May 11 – Mecklenburg County,  Haywood County and Granville County

May 12 – Wake County (Wake Forest PD), New Hanover County, and Brunswick County

May 14 – Watauga County

May 17 – Craven County and Onslow County (Onslow County Sheriff’s Office)

May 18 – Onslow County (Jacksonville Police Department), Wayne County (Goldsboro Police Department), Rockingham County, Lee County and Davidson County 

May 21 – Orange County (Hillsborough PD)

May 22 – Henderson and Vance County

May 23 – Rowan County

May 24 – Guilford County (High Point Police Department) and Moore County

May 25 – Cleveland County, Guilford County (Greensboro Police Department) and Johnston County
May 29 – Orange and Alamance County

May 30 – Cumberland County (Cumberland County Sheriff’s Office and Fayetteville PD)

May 31 – Cumberland County (Fort Bragg CID), Durham County, Wake County (Garner PD and Raleigh PD)

June 1 – Wake County (Zebulon PD)

Each spring, law enforcement officers from all over the state host a Torch Run relay in their communities. As Guardians of the Flame, officers carry the torch in relays spanning over 2,000 miles and pass the Flame of Hope throughout the state. All of the torches converge in Raleigh at the State Capitol for the Final Leg, where officers and athletes carry the Flame of Hope to the Special Olympics North Carolina Summer Games Opening Ceremony. The Final Leg culminates with a Circle of Honor and the lighting of the cauldron to signify the opening of the Games.

All legs of the Torch Run will converge on Raleigh, June 1, with the Final Leg of the relay taking place that evening. Officers will run the Flame of Hope from Downtown Raleigh (starting from the City of Raleigh Municipal Office at 222 W. Hargett Street) to the 2018 SONC Summer Games Opening Ceremony at Reynolds Coliseum on North Carolina State University’s campus. Officers will form a Circle of Honor and then light the cauldron during the SONC Summer Games Opening Ceremony to officially open the Games.

The Law Enforcement Torch Run is an international fundraising event for Special Olympics. NC Law enforcement officers’ 2018 goal is to raise $1.3 million for Special Olympics through special events, individual and corporate donations, plus donations for T-shirts and baseball caps.  

The 2018 SONC Summer Games will be held June 1 – June 3 in Raleigh, Cary and Holly Springs and will include nearly 1,900 athletes from across the state. Athletes will compete in athletics, bowling, cheerleading, cycling, gymnastics, powerlifting, softball, swimming and volleyball.

Official sponsors of the 2018 NC Torch Run include: Premier Level: Credit SuisseGold Level: Prudential Life North Carolina 401kDMJPowers & Thomas Midway EntertainmentMark Jacobson ToyotaPublixState Employees Combined Campaign and Cafe Carolina and Bakery; Silver Level: AAA CarolinasHMS Host and SportClipsBronze Level: Bob BarkerReliasDECIVidant HealthKankiPerdueWalmart Foundation and Mike Johnson’s Toyota-Hickory; Guardian Partners: NC DPSChick-fil-A and Red Robin Gourmet Burgers.

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 5.7 million children and adults around the world who have intellectual disabilities. In 2017, 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

Throughout 2018, the Special Olympics movement is celebrating 50 years of joy, courage and empowerment. Since 1968, the organization has used the transformative power of sports to improve the lives of children and adults with intellectual disabilities. Nearly 40,000 athletes in North Carolina inspire thousands of coaches, sports officials, local program committee members and event organizers involved in Special Olympics statewide.  SONC offers year-round training and competition in 19 Olympic-type 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 TwitterInstagramFacebook and YouTube

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