Effingham/Neoga/Mattoon/Arcola/Lawrenceville/Olney – The Annual Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics Illinois will be starting this week as Law Enforcement Officers, Troopers, and personnel from around the State run the Flame of Hope to Bloomington/Normal culminating at the Opening Ceremony of State Summer Games next Friday, June 9th. This amazing event helps to raise awareness of the Special Olympics Illinois athletes and their sports achievements in making it to the State Summer Games. Our local Law Enforcement Community shows their support of the Special Olympics athletes by ensuring that the Flame of Hope, is not only a symbol, but an active catalyst to changing points of view on the abilities, strengths, and attributes of our #SOlimitless athletes.
This year’s Law Enforcement Torch Run Leg 16 will be run through 7 of the 12 Counties of Area 9…
Starting this Saturday, June 3rd, at 7:00am, Lawrenceville Correctional Officers will run the Torch from the Lawrenceville Correctional Center to Olney, IL with CO Luke Fairless as head coordinator. The torch will then travel to Effingham, IL.
Then on Wednesday, June 7th, Illinois State Police Department District 12 and Law Enforcement of Effingham County, including Sergeant Ron Will, meet with the Effingham County Lightning Special Olympics team at 8:00am at the Old Effingham Courthouse. There the flame will run through Effingham and north on Route 45 through Sigel and into Neoga.
Around 11:00am, LETR will arrive in Neoga, where the Neoga/Sigel Indians Special Olympics team will join in the Torch Run starting at Casey’s General Store until they reach the Dollar General Store. After leaving Neoga the Illinois State Police and LETR team will run the torch to the McDonald’s on Rt. 45 in Mattoon, bring the torch the 24.1 miles in total from Effingham to Mattoon.
Around 1:30pm, at McDonald’s, the Mattoon Police Department will take over the responsibility to carry the Flame of Hope and run the almost 4 mile trek into and through Mattoon to the City Hall. Mattoon/Charleston Hornets, S.O. Alpha Bears, Camp New Hope, and any other athletes will meet across the street from Cromwell Radio Group (Open lot on Lake Land Blvd. by the Mattoon Police Department) and join in the run with the Mattoon Officers to the Mattoon City Hall.
At the Mattoon City Hall at approximately 2:30pm, the Coles County Sheriff’s Department, led by Sheriff Jim Rankin, will step in to run the Flame of Home through the 13.3 mile duration of Coles County, north on Rt. 45 to the 1900 N. CR. Line.
The Douglas County Sheriff’s Department and Sheriff Fred Galey will ensure that the Torch is run from the Douglas County line into Arcola, where they will finish at the Arcola Casey’s General Store on Rt. 45. Again, ALL Arcola, Arthur/Lovington/Atwood/Hammond, and Tuscola Special Olympics athletes are invited to come out to cheer on the LETR team and walk the Torch for few blocks in Arcola.