For the 29th year in New York, law enforcement officers will carry the Special Olympics Torch throughout various communities leading up to opening ceremonies at the State Summer Games. The cauldron will be lit June 5 in Brockport, signifying the opening of the 2015 Games.
The Special Olympics Torch will continue its journey today, traveling throughout the streets of Clarence in memory of former Trooper Kevin P. Dobson. The torch will leave the Clarence barracks at 4 p.m. and end at Tully's Good Times on Main Street, one of Special Olympics' Gold Partners.
More than 100 law enforcement officers from various agencies, including New York State Police, United States Customs and Border Protection, Homeland Security Investigations, Erie County Sheriffs, Erie County Probation Department, Buffalo Police Department, Hamburg Police Department and West Seneca Police Department, will carry the torch hand in hand with local Special Olympics athletes. This Torch Run leg will be one of the largest in New York.
The Law Enforcement Torch Run is the largest grassroots fundraising and public awareness vehicle for Special Olympics in the world. In addition to carrying the "Flame of Hope" to their local and state Special Olympic games, law enforcement officials organize and conduct additional fundraising initiatives, such as "Polar Plunges," "Over the Edge," "Cops on Top," "Law & Orders" and golf outings.
In 2014, more than $46 million was raised internationally through LETR events. More than $1.8 million was raised last year for athletes through LETR fundraisers in New York.
Since its inception, more than $8 million has been raised through LETR fundraisers providing training, equipment, venues, uniforms and transportation for hundreds of thousands of Special Olympics New York athletes for a quarter of a century.
Special Olympics New York has 65,665 athletes across the state who compete and train in Olympic-style sports throughout the year, always at no cost to them or their families.