Law Enforcement + Special Olympics = Winning Combination

Law Enforcement Torch Run Kick-Off Ceremony Set for Thursday, May 26 in Historic Occoquan

There is an untold story about law enforcement; a story where law enforcement officers go above and beyond the call of duty for the most marginalized citizens in their communities – people with intellectual disabilities. In Virginia, in the cities and towns they protect and serve daily, thousands of officers run, raise money and extend the ultimate gift – friendship, acceptance and inclusion – to Virginia’s 21,000+ athletes as a part of the Law Enforcement Torch Run® for Special Olympics Virginia. Law enforcement and Special Olympics – it’s a winning combination.

We will celebrate this partnership at the Law Enforcement Torch Run Kick-Off Ceremony, May 26 at 11:30 am in Historic Occoquan (200 Mill Street), during which we will officially light the “Flame of Hope” as officers prepare to run it thousands of miles to Richmond. The Ceremony, which commences the countdown to Summer Games (June 10-11 in Richmond), will bring more than 100 law enforcement officers from across Virginia to Northern Virginia, as well as Prince William County Sheriff Glendell Hill, the 2016 State Chair of the Virginia Torch Run.

In addition to lighting the Flame, we’ll also celebrate the fundraising efforts of the more than 2,000 officers involved in the Torch Run, sponsored by the SunTrust Foundation, the Wawa Foundation and Enterprise and supported by the Virginia Association of Chiefs of Police, the Virginia Sheriff’s Association, the Virginia Department of Corrections, the Virginia Association of Regional Jails and the Virginia Association of Campus Law Enforcement Administrators. Since June 2015, they have raised a record $1.3 million for Special Olympics, pushing their overall fundraising total to more than $18 million since the Torch Run’s inception in Virginia in 1986.

Then, beginning June 4 in Bristol, officers from across the Commonwealth will run the Flame more than 1900 miles, from every corner of the state. On June 10, Metro Richmond officers will run the last leg from the Capitol to the University of Richmond’s Robins Stadium, where they’ll join more than 1500 Summer Games athletes and officially open Summer Games. For the Northern Virginia route (Region 1), which begins at 9:30 am June 9 at the Iwo Jima Memorial, visit the Torch Run Web site,, and click on the Routes link.

Torch Run History: The Torch Run began 33 years ago with founder Wichita Police Chief Richard LaMunyon, and five law enforcement officers carrying the torch for Special Olympics Kansas’ Summer Games in Wichita. The Torch Run has since evolved into the largest grassroots fundraiser for Special Olympics with more than 100,000 law enforcement participants around the world, and a cumulative sum of a half a billion dollars raised since its inception in 1981.

Media are invited to attend this year’s Law Enforcement Torch Run Kick-Off. Please contact Senior PR Director Holly Claytor at 804-726-3025 or [email protected] with any questions. For more information on Special Olympics Virginia, visit

Special Olympics Virginia is an accredited state program of Special Olympics Incorporated; an international organization that unleashes the human spirit through the transformative power and joy of sports every day around the world. Through work in sports, health, education and community building, Special Olympics addresses inactivity, injustice, intolerance and social isolation by encouraging and empowering people with intellectual disabilities, which leads to a more welcoming and inclusive society. Visit us at Engage with us on Twitter @solympicsva;; Instagram @specialolympicsva and

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