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Frequently Asked Questions

When and how did the Torch Run begin?
The Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics began in 1981 when Wichita, Kansas (USA) Police Chief Richard LaMunyon saw an urgent need to raise funds and increase awareness of Special Olympics. He conceived of the idea of a Torch Run as a way to involve local law enforcement personnel in the community with Special Olympics. Three years later, the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) gave its support and leadership, as well as the involvement of all facets of the law enforcement community-sheriff's associations, police unions, state, county, municipal, military, and federal law enforcement agencies, and corrections officers.

What is the Mission of the Law Enforcement Torch Run?
The mission of the Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics is to raise funds for and awareness of the Special Olympics movement worldwide. Special Olympics is a program that daily reaffirms our beliefs that with hope, love, and dedication we can see achievement and self-worth realized by an individual. It is our belief that persons with mental retardation, by their involvement in Special Olympics, show the community at large the true meaning of sports and a pure joy towards life.

To further the Special Olympics philosophy, law enforcement will carry the torch, representing the "flame of hope," and dedicate itself to the goals of continually increasing awareness and funds for Special Olympics athletes worldwide.

How do Law enforcement personnel raise money?
Most Torch Run programs raise money through the Torch Run itself; law enforcement officers who participate in the Run collect pledges in order to participate or collect sponsorships for each mile they run. The Law enforcement Torch Run has blossomed into a year-round fund raising initiative through a variety of events. Each year members of the various Departments work together to raise funds and awareness for Special Olympics with various fund raising events such as Polar Bear Plunge, Golf Outings, Tip-a-Cop with Texas Roadhouse, The Worlds Largest Truck Convoy, and Cops on Doughnut shops with Krispy Kreme. Check the events calendar for more fund raising activities throughout the state.

How do I or my business become a sponsor?
Individuals and businesses are encouraged to become sponsors of the Law Enforcement Torch Run. To get information on sponsorship opportunities, contact Rob DuVall, VP of Marketing and Development at Special Olympics Ohio at or 614-239-7050.

Where does the money go?
Money raised through the Law Enforcement Torch Run goes to Special Olympics of Ohio to help offset the cost of state affiliated events (i.e. summer and winter games).

Will local athletes benefit from Torch Run events?
Though the money raised through the Law Enforcement Torch Run does not go directly to local Special Olympic chapters, it does help to reduce the cost of fees charged to local chapters for state events thus benefiting Special Olympic athletes throughout the state. Torch Run events also raise awareness about Special Olympics and encourages others to participate in Special Olympics as either athletes or volunteers.

I have a Special Olympic Athlete that would like to run the Torch Run with you; how can they participate?
We would love to have him/her participate! Please contact Rob ( or 614-239-7050) and we will connect you with the leg leader in your area.

I would like to participate in the Torch Run but I am a cyclist, not a runner, can I still help?
Absolutely!!! Please contact Rob ( or 614-239-7050) and we will connect you with the leg leader in your area.


Special Olympics Ohio     |     3303 Winchester Pike     |     Columbus, OH 43232     |     614.239.7050 (phone)     |     614.239.1873 (fax)

Created by the Joseph P. Kennedy, Jr. Foundation. Authorized and Accredited by Special Olympics, Inc.,
for the Benefit of Persons with Intellectual Disabilities. | Area Login