Law Enforcement Torch Run
A Humble Beginning
The Law Enforcement Torch Run® began in 1981 when Wichita, Kansas (USA), Police Chief Richard LaMunyon saw an urgent need to raise funds for and increase awareness of Special Olympics. The Law Enforcement Torch Run® for Special Olympics is the movement's largest grass-roots fundraiser and public awareness vehicle.
At its most basic level, the Torch Run is an actual running event in which officers and athletes run the “Flame of Hope” to the Opening Ceremonies of local Special Olympics competitions, State Games, and National Summer or Winter Games.
At its most fully developed, the Torch Run initiative encompasses a variety of fundraising vehicles in addition to the Torch Run itself, such as T-shirt or merchandise sales, donations or pledges for runners in the Torch Run, corporate donations, special events such as Polar Plunges, golf tournaments or other events that have local appeal.
South Dakota Law Enforcement Torch Run:
The Torch Run started in South Dakota in 1988, with two runs. One was a run from Mt. Rushmore to Rapid City and the other was from Sioux Falls to Vermillion. Under $1,000.00 was raised. This event was repeated again in 1990 with the same amount of funds raised.
In 1991, law enforcement officers in South Dakota ran the first run across the state raising $5,652. The involvement of law enforcement agencies increase over the next few years with incredible results: