Special Olympics Law Enforcement Torch Run

Members of law enforcement throughout the State of Illinois conducted their annual Law Enforcement Torch Run for the Special Olympics Illinois Summer Games to be held on June 15-17. The games will be held at Illinois State University in Normal, Illinois. About 3,000 officers representing every branch of law enforcement will cover the 23 legs of the Illinois Law Enforcement Torch Run. The Torch Run is the single largest year-round fund raising vehicle benefiting Special Olympics Illinois. The annual intrastate relay and its various fund raising projects have two goals: to raise money and to gain awareness for the athletes who participate in Special Olympics Illinois. Each year, officers in Illinois run more than 1,500 miles carrying the “Flame of Hope” through the streets of their hometowns and deliver it to the State Summer Games in Normal in June.

The Law Enforcement Torch Run made its way through Villa Park on Sunday June 10. The torch was delivered after a run through Lombard by a cadre of vehicles includng the Illinois State Police, Du Page County Sheriff and several Villa Park Police vehicles. Waiting for the torch at the Illinois Prairie Path were Villa Park Police Chief Robert Pavelchik and Deputy Chief Mike Lay and Officer Donald Lay. Also with the group were several Villa Park Police Explorers including Nick Simons, John Doyle and Josh Preisel.

The torch was then given to Police Chief Pavelchik who lead the group run down Central Avenue to Ardmore Avenue and north on Ardmore. Then Deputy chief Lay took over as the torch was carried to St. Charles Road. Others had their turn with the torch until in made its way along St. Charles Road to Route 83 at the site of the truck weigh station. There the torch was handed over to the Elmhurst Law Enforcement runners.

In addition to donations for running, officers raise funds in various ways throughout the year, including Polar Plunges, rooftop sits, Plane Pull, Truck Convoy, raffles, bike rides, golf tournaments, and more.

To get involved in Law Enforcement Torch Run® activities in your area, call Matt Johnson at Special Olympics Illinois (1-800-394-0562) or contact your local law enforcement agency.

A full gallery of photos taken along the route in Villa Park is available at

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