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NC Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics kicks off 2019 fundraising & awareness campaign

The North Carolina Law Enforcement Torch Run (NC LETR) for Special Olympics kicked off its 2019 campaign of raising funds and awareness for Special Olympics North Carolina during an annual conference held in Morehead City.

Besides training about Special Olympics and fundraising, major accomplishments recognized during the conference were that $1.3 million was raised in 2018 throughout the state by 100 participating law enforcement agencies, and Captain Robert Spatorico of the Fayetteville Police Department and Major Cam Selvey of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department were introduced as the 2019 Co-directors of the NC LETR.
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. Beach towels are also available for $20 each.
The annual North Carolina Law Enforcement Torch Run Conference was held Feb. 6 – 7 in Morehead City for law enforcement personnel to learn about the 2019 campaign and provide ideas for conducting a successful Torch Run.  More than 200 people representing a wide array of law enforcement attended. The Conference was supported by the Carteret County Sheriff’s Office and the Morehead City Police Department.
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 2019 SONC Summer Games will be May 31-June 2 in Raleigh, Cary and Holly Springs with the Opening Ceremony held on Friday, May 31.
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 $700 million has been raised! Nearly 110,000 law enforcement officers make the Torch Run efforts a success globally 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.
The top 10 Torch Run fundraising agencies based on 2018 fundraising results were:
1) Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department – $91,358.14
2) Winston-Salem Police Department – $59,064.75
3) Apex Police Department – $46,796.41
4) Chatham County Sheriff’s Office – $42,995.53
5) Pinehurst Police Department – $41,101.08
6) Raleigh Police Department – $30,749.68
7) Fayetteville Police Department – $30,748.68
8) Davidson County Sheriff’s Office– $30,664.81
9) Holly Springs Police Department – $29,130.01
10) Greensboro Police Department – $26,054.71
A full list of Torch Run agency rankings can be found here.
Official sponsors of the 2019 NC Torch Run include: Premier Level: Credit Suisse and Publix; Gold Level: Prudential Life, DMJPowers & Thomas Midway EntertainmentMark Jacobson Toyota, Arthur R. Clark, Prudential and State Employees Combined Campaign; Silver Level: AAA Carolinas and Relias; Bronze Level: Bob BarkerDECIWalmart FoundationCrossroads Ford CaryHMS Host and Mike Johnson’s Toyota-Hickory; Guardian Partners: NC DPSChick-fil-ADunkin’ Donuts Coastal Management and Red Robin Gourmet Burgers.
For more information about the Torch Run efforts in your community, contact Leslie Moyar at lmoyar@sonc.net or 919.210.0966.
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 2018, the NC Torch Run efforts resulted in over $1.3 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
Since 1968, Special Olympics North Carolina 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 www.specialolympicsnc.com. Engage with us on TwitterInstagramFacebook and YouTube.
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