Hundreds of law enforcement officers throughout the state will stake out Dunkin’ Donuts rooftops to benefit Special Olympics Illinois beginning 5 a.m. Friday, June 1.
Elmhurst police will take their posts at the two Dunkin' Donuts in town, 506 W. North Ave. and at 195 E. Butterfield Road, for the 10th annual "" The event raises awareness and funds for the Law Enforcement Torch Run to benefit Special Olympics Illinois.
Even DuPage County State's Attorney Robert Berlin is getting into the act. He will stake out the Dunkin' Donuts at 956 Roosevelt Road in Wheaton from 8 to 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. 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 coupon for a free donut.
"Special Olympics athletes need opportunities," Berlin said from the rooftop at last year's event. "When you see all of these kids, it's inspirational to see them competing."
Guests donating at least $10 will receive a Law Enforcement Torch Run travel mug (while supplies last) and a coupon for free medium coffee. Torch Run T-shirts and hats, will be handed out for various donation amounts, and other activities may vary by Dunkin’ Donuts location.
The Special Olympics fund-raiser 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 for 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 fund-raising event benefiting Special Olympics Illinois.
The intrastate relay, with its various fund-raising projects, has set a goal of raising $3 million in 2012.
Special Olympics Illinois is a nonprofit 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. The first Special Olympics was held at Soldier Field in 1968; the program now is in more than 170 countries.