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North Carolina’s Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics awarded international honor for fundraising

North Carolina received a diamond level of excellence award by the executive council of the International Law Enforcement Torch Run for raising $1.259 million during the 2017 Law Enforcement Torch Run campaign year, according to Keith L. Fishburne, president/CEO of Special Olympics North Carolina.

The award was presented during the annual International Law Enforcement Torch Run Conference, which was held in Las Vegas, NV Nov. 8-10.  Nearly 1,200 law enforcement officials and Special Olympics staff from around the world, including 32 from North Carolina, attended.  

The North Carolina Law Enforcement Torch Run delegation at the International Torch Run Conference consisted of officers from the Alexander Correctional Institution, Apex Police Department, Chapel Hill Police Department, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department, Chatham County Sheriff’s Office, Craven Correctional Institution, Davidson County Sheriff’s Office, Fayetteville Police Department, Foothills Correctional Institution, Gaston County Sheriff’s Office, Greensboro Police Department, Guilford County Sheriff’s Office, Haywood County Sheriff’s Office, Holly Springs Police Department, Kernersville Police Department,  Knightdale Police Department, North Carolina State University Campus Police Department, New Hanover County Sheriff’s Office, Pinehurst Police Department and Winston-Salem Police Department.

The LETR began more than 30 years ago with founder, Chief Richard LaMunyon, and five law enforcement officers who carried the Torch for the Special Olympics Kansas Summer Games in Wichita.  The LETR has since become much more than an annual run for Special Olympics Summer Games.  For the many involved with the LETR it represents honor, respect and pride.  It has become a worldwide community of Law Enforcement officers rallying to support Special Olympics, the impetus for millions of new friendships around the world, and a series of events including Torch Runs, Polar Plunge® fundraisers, and Tip-A-Cop® events.   

The LETR is the largest grassroots fundraiser for Special Olympics with more than 100,000 law enforcement participants around the world.  It was announced at the conference that the LETR raised more than $58.2 million in 2018 for Special Olympics athletes and a cumulative sum of more than $733 million since its inception in 1981. 

The NCLETR involves more than 2,000 law enforcement officers representing more than 200 agencies.  In addition to raising funds through collecting sponsorships, T-shirt and hat donations and unique fundraising events, the officers take part in a 2,000-mile, 16-day torch relay with the Flame of Hope, culminating in the lighting of the cauldron to officially open the Special Olympics North Carolina Summer Games each summer in Raleigh.

“I am very proud to be involved with such a dedicated group of law enforcement officers,” said NC Torch Run Co-Director, Claudia Morgan, Winston-Salem Police Department.  “The Torch Run officers work hard for the Special Olympics athletes in North Carolina and we hope our work in 2018 will raise $1.3 million for these inspiring athletes!”

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 million children and adults around the world who have intellectual disabilities. In 2018, the NC Torch Run has a goal of raising $1.3 million 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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