Hundreds of law enforcement officers from throughout the state will stake out Dunkin’ Donuts rooftops to benefit Special Olympics Illinois beginning 5 a.m. Friday, June 1.
Wheaton police will stand posts at Dunkin' Donuts, for the 10th annual "" event raises awareness and funds for the Law Enforcement Torch Run to benefit Special Olympics Illinois.
DuPage County State's Attorney Robert Berlin will stake out the Dunkin' Donuts at from 8-10 a.m.
Illinois Torch Run Director and Sherman Police Chief Eric Smith said in a press release, ”We set records every year with the event, and we have high expectations for this year.
“The story speaks for itself,” he continued, “It’s about good and dedicated police officers working to support Special Olympics athletes and their families. And it’s about the average Joes donating change from their morning joe to help the cause.”
To meet their goal this year, Special Olympics Illinois hopes to top last year’s total of $215,000 raised at 116 Dunkin’ Donuts locations.
In return for the police officers “doing time” at their restaurants, Dunkin’ Donuts will donate $10,000 to the Torch Run fund, and each guest who visits a Cop on a Rooftop location and makes a donation will receive a free donut coupon.
DuPage County State’s Attorney Robert Berlin staked out the Wheaton Dunkin’ Donuts during , which had cars lined up out to Roosevelt Road Friday, while Berlin waved to drivers during the Friday morning coffee rush.
The Special Olympics athletes need opportunities, Berlin said from the rooftop. "It's a great cause ... it's great to see them (athletes) participate."
"When you see all of these kids, it's inspirational to see them competing," he said.
Guests donating at least $10 will receive a Law Enforcement Torch Run travel mug (while supplies last) and a coupon for free medium coffee. Other items, such as Torch Run T-shirts and hats, will be sold for various donation amounts, and other activities may vary by Dunkin’ Donuts location.
The Special Olympics fundraiser has grown considerably since police officers first took to Dunkin’ Donuts rooftops in 2003. That year, 12 police departments participated and raised $20,000.
The Illinois Law Enforcement Torch Run has raised nearly $25 million over 26 years while increasing awareness of Special Olympics Illinois athletes and their accomplishments.
Each year, more than 3,000 officers cover 1,500 miles carrying the Flame of Hope through the streets of their hometowns and to the State Summer Games in Normal in June. It is the single largest year-round fundraising event benefiting Special Olympics Illinois.
The intrastate relay and its various fundraising projects have two goals: to raise money and increase public awareness for the athletes of Special Olympics. The Torch Run has set a goal of raising $3 million in 2012.
Special Olympics Illinois is a not-for-profit organization offering year-round training and competition in 19 sports for more than 21,000 athletes with intellectual disabilities and more than 11,000 Young Athletes ages 2-7 with and without intellectual disabilities. Special Olympics programs enhance physical fitness, motor skills, self-confidence, social skills and encourage family support.
The first Special Olympics games were held at Soldier Field in July, 1968; the program now is in more than 170 countries.