North Carolina received a diamond level of excellence award by the executive council of the International Law Enforcement Torch Run for raising $1.467 million during the 2018 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 Aurora, Colorado, September 19-21, 2019. Nearly 1,400 law enforcement officials and Special Olympics staff from around the world, including 28 from North Carolina, attended.
The North Carolina Law Enforcement Torch Run delegation at the International Torch Run Conference consisted of officers from the Apex Police Department, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department, Chatham County Sheriff’s Office, Cumberland County Sheriff’s Office, Davidson County Sheriff’s Office, Foothills Correctional Institution, Greensboro Police Department, Guilford County Sheriff’s Office, Haywood County Sheriff’s Office, Holly Springs Police Department, Jacksonville Police Department, Knightdale Police Department, Methodist University Campus Police Department, North Carolina State University Campus Police Department, New Hanover County Sheriff’s Office, Pinehurst Police Department, Raleigh Police Department, Vidant Health Police and the 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 public awareness and fundraising campaign for Special Olympics with more than 100,000 law enforcement participants around the world. In 2018, more than $60 million was raised for Special Olympics programs throughout the world, making the cumulative amount raised since 1981 more than $794 million.
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 relays spanning over 2,000 miles in 30 days to pass the Flame of Hope across the state, culminating in the lighting of the cauldron to officially open the Special Olympics North Carolina Summer Games each summer in Raleigh.
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 5.4 million children and adults around the world who have intellectual disabilities. 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, 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 www.specialolympicsnc.com. Engage with us on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and YouTube.