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Park Ridge Police Carry Torch for Special Olympics Illinois

Beginning Sunday, June 5, 2016, many area law enforcement officers will be running through the streets of their communities to raise money and awareness for Special Olympics. Throughout the week, 3,000 officers representing every branch of law enforcement will cover the 23 legs of the Illinois Law Enforcement Torch Run.

On Sunday, June 5th at approximately 10:00am, officers from the Park Ridge Police Department will run the portion of Leg 7 of the Northern Illinois Cook County Torch Run for Special Olympics of Illinois. Park Ridge Police will carry the torch forward from Des Plaines Police starting at Dempster Street and I–294, and will carry the flame onward to Dempster Street and Milwaukee Avenue where Morton Grove Police will continue the run. Park Ridge Police will be accompanied by members of the Pak Ridge Fire Department and other local supporters of the run. Onlookers are encouraged to show support along the route.

On Friday, June 10th legs of the run from all over the state will converge in Normal, Illinois. That evening at dusk, a dramatic moment occurs during the Opening Ceremonies of the Special Olympics Illinois State Summer Games. Officers from every leg of the Torch Run will enter Illinois State University’s Hancock Stadium with torches lit and hand off the “Flame of Hope” to Special Olympics athletes. When the cauldron is lit and the games declared open, more than 3,500 athletes will continue three days of competition and celebration.

This year is the 30th running of the Law Enforcement Torch Run in Illinois. When it began in 1986, the Torch Run raised $16,000. It has since grown into the largest fundraiser of Special Olympics Illinois. More than $4.1 million was raised last year by the Illinois Law Enforcement Torch Run! Illinois’ Torch Run program has raised over $39 million since its inception in 1986.

Special Olympics Illinois (SO ILL) provides year-round training and competition in 19 different sports to children and adults with intellectual disabilities. Currently, SO ILL serves more than 22,000 children and adults with intellectual disabilities and nearly 20,000 Young Athletes (ages 2-7) with and without intellectual disabilities. All athletes participate at no cost to themselves or their families! The benefits of Special Olympics for the athletes are tremendous-including physical fitness, sports skills, self-esteem and especially the social benefits. Special Olympics transforms the lives of people with intellectual disabilities.

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