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History of Torch Run

The Law Enforcement Torch Run began in 1981 when Wichita, Kansas Police Chief Richard La Munyon saw a need to raise awareness and funds for Special Olympics. He conceived the idea of the Torch Run as a way to involve local law enforcement with the community and Special Olympics.

After three successful runs in Kansas, La Munyon presented the idea to the International Association of Police Chiefs. With the IACP’s endorsement, the idea was launched nationally and today involves law enforcement personnel in all 50 states and about 25 countries throughout the world. This movement has become the largest grass roots fundraising program to benefit Special Olympics in the world.

In Ohio, Torch Run participants run or cycle one of several planned routes covering the state and leading to the Opening Ceremonies. If you are not close to a planned route we encourage your department to organize a satellite route in your community during the week leading up to our State Summer Games. The officers carry the torch through a series of relays. The culmination of the run is the Final Leg in which all legs come together and carry the Torch to the Opening Ceremonies of the Special Olympics Ohio State Summer Games.

Prior to the run, participants collect pledges and contributions and are often sponsored by service groups, schools and businesses that raise funds for the Law Enforcement Torch Run.


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