Law Enforcement Torch Run®
What is the Mission of the Law Enforcement Torch Run®?
The mission of the Law Enforcement Torch Run® (LETR) is to promote community awareness of sports training, athleteic competitions and other initiatives offered by Special Olympics New Mexico (SONM). LETR also provides opportunities, encouragement and hope to the athletes and families of SONM. LETR provides finiancial support and in-kind resources to SONM through fundraising efforts.
The History: The Law Enforcement Torch Run® began in 1981 when Wichita, Kansas Police Chief Richard LaMunyon saw an urgent need to raise awareness of and funds for Special Olympics. He conceived the idea of the Torch Run as a way to involve local law enforcement with their communities and Special Olympics, by running the torch in intra-state relays that converge at their local Summer Games. The LETR was quickly endorsed by Special Olympics Inc (SOI) and the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP), now recognized as the Founding Law Enforcement Organization.
Today: Celebrating its 32nd Anniversary in 2013, the Law Enforcement Torch Run® for Special Olympics is the movement's largest grass-roots fundraiser and public awareness vehicle. The Torch Run raised over $43 million for Special Olympics Programs around the world in 2011. More than 85,000 law enforcement officers carried the Flame of Hope across 35 nations, raising awareness and funds for Special Olympics. Thousands more supported the runners' efforts through “Adopt-A-Cop” runner sponsorships, local fundraising events, corporate sponsorships and Torch Run T-shirts and other merchandise sales to fellow law enforcement officers, families, friends and the public.
New Mexico: Over 700 Law enforcement personnel from Federal, Military, State, County and Local agencies participate in the Torch Run. Funds are raised through a variety of activities and fund raisers, with the highlight being the 1,600-mile statewide run culminating at the Special Olympics New Mexico Summer Games in Albuquerque in May. The New Mexico Law Enforcement is proudly presented by Wells Fargo.
How is the Law Enforcement Torch Run Organized?
The Law Enforcement Torch Run® is MORE THAN A RUN. It is a year round fund-raising organization that culminates at the Summer Games in May with the Final Leg. There are various ways an agency can be involved in the Torch Run organization. Here in New Mexico, Law Enforcement Torch Run® activities are organized statewide. Any agency can work with the Special Olympics New Mexico representative to coordinate many different activities.
"More Than Just a Run"
The Law Enforcement Torch Run is "more than just a run." Law Enforcement Torch Run® serves as an umbrella to various fundraising activities. Those activities include:
- Torch Run: The Run itself takes place in the days leading up to Special Olympics New Mexico Summer Games and occurs over a two-week time period. The Torch Run currently has several starting points which are changeable as the Torch Run grows. All officers who are involved in the Torch Run are invited to attend the Summer Games. For additional information CLICK HERE.
Tip-A-Cop:This unique event gives law enforcement personnel an opportunity to trade in their handcuffs and badges for an apron and serving tray. Law enforcement act as celebrity waiters, collecting tips to benefit Special Olympics New Mexico.
For upcoming events CLICK HERE.
- Adopt-A-Cop Sponsor: For a minimum of $100 a company or individual can adopt one of our Torch Run officers for the year. This money helps Torch Run and Special Olympics raise money for awareness.
- Golf Classic & Sports Auction: A very popular fundraiser which can raise thousands of dollars for the Torch Run and Special Olympics. For additional information email us at email@example.com .
- "Over the Edge": An exclusive 203-foot rappel down the New Mexico Bank and Trust building in downtown Albuquerque. Each individual or team will need to raise a minimum amount to have one person rappel down the building. All proceeds will go to benefit Special Olympics New Mexico's athletes and year-round, statewide sports programs. For additional information go to www.overtheedgenm.com .
Cops-On-Top: An event in which law enforcement personnel sit on the roof of a well-known location or store until the community donates a pre-determined amount of money to the LETR.
Torch Icon Campaign: An annual event organized by New Mexico's law enforcement in which retail stores statewide sell paper torch icons to raise funds for Special Olympics New Mexico.
Plane/Train/Truck Pulls: An event in which teams compromised primarily of law enforcement personnel compete against each other to pull a LARGE vehicle a predetermined distance in the shortest amount of time.
Merchandise sales: T-shirt and merchandise sales are a great way to include large numbers of officers in an easy project. Merchandise can be sold to neighbors, family, friends or co-workers. Additionally, merchandise can be sold at other Torch Run events, in retail outlets or at other locations. For additional information please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Pledges for Running: People wishing to participate without running can do so by pledging dollars to our LETR during the run May 20-31, 2013.
Sponsorship: To view 2013 Sponsorship benefit packages CLICK HERE.
Agencies are not limited to the above activities, they can be as creative as they want in organizing activities to raise funds. If you are a new agency, you should start with T-shirt Sales and "Tip-A-Cops." Those activities are the easiest to start.
For more details about Torch Run Special Events CLICK HERE.