Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special OlympicsPlease help us by reporting any fundraising events that your lodge has held or donations that your lodge has made to benefit the Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics.
In 1982, Chief Richard LaMunyon of the Wichita, Kansas Police Department had an ideato hold a run to raise awareness for the Special Olympic movement. Chief LaMunyon and several of Wichita's finest ran a short three miles which, over the past twenty-nine years, has grown into a fund and awareness raising event that travels over one hundred thousand miles every year and involves nearly one hundred thousand law enforcement officers from the United States, Canada, the Caribbean, South America, Europe, the Middle East, the Far East, Australia, and every other corner of the globe, and it continues to grow. In JuneChina, in JulySouth Africa and the growth continues. This year over 20 million dollars will be raised, all for Special Olympic programs.
For many years, many local and State lodges were strong supporters of the Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics. Then, in 1995, the Grand Lodge Executive Board changed the name of the committee to reflect the primary focus of the law enforcement effort to help Special Olympics, and renamed the committee the Law Enforcement Torch Run Committee for Special Olympics.
The Grand Lodge has sponsored events at the Annual Torch Run conference, prompted by the Torch Run in publications, and in 1999 was a supporting sponsor of the International Law Enforcement Torch Run Final Leg, a run that was completed by 84 officerseach representing their state or countrywho ran the torch from Washington, D.C., through the state of North Carolina, to Raleigh for the opening of the 1999 World Special Olympics Summer games. In addition to the Grand Lodge Sponsorship, State and local lodges hold many fund raising events to benefit the Torch Run and Special Olympics programs, from polar bear plunges to Harley raffles, from plane pulls to trivia nights and celebrity water nights known as Cops and Lobsters at Red Lobster restaurants. If you can imagine it, lodges have done it to raise money.
The FOP is committed to helping our citizens with intellectual disabilities learn to achieve and become self reliant and contributing members of our communities. We are driven to insure that citizens with intellectual disabilities are afforded the same dignity and respect that each of us enjoys and deserves. The dedication of the FOP to protect and defend the rights and dignities of all citizens can best be summed up in the initiation ceremony of a new member: "[T]he emblem...the ever watchful eye, which notes the danger, and offers protection to the public." Let us never lose that sight of our duty and obligation to all of our citizens. Those who participate, and those who are dedicated to the Torch Run, shall never lose sight of that duty and obligation.