Representatives from the Northern Illinois University Police Department joined participants from the DeKalb and Sycamore Police and DeKalb County Sheriff’s Departments in carrying the “Flame of Hope” as part of Sunday’s DeKalb County Law Enforcement Torch Run®.
“It’s just an awesome cause,” said NIU Police Chief Tom Phillips, who has participated in the Torch Run throughout his career. “I want to thank officer E. B. Slouka for leading the way in serving as our point person for this important cause.”
The run–approximately seven miles in length–started at the DeKalb County Courthouse on the corner of Main and State Streets in Sycamore, proceeding west on Rte. 64, south on Somonauk, west on Elm Street continuing on DeKalb Avenue (Rte. 23) to Hopkins Park where runners met with area Special Olympic athletes, following the Hopkins Park bicycle path through the park and crossing Hilcrest and First Street along the Kishwaukee River, south on Kishwaukee Drive, west on Lucinda Avenue past the NIU Police and Public Safety Building, south on Normal Road to Lincoln Highway, west to the DeKalb Police Department.
DeKalb County law enforcement officers are among 3,000 that Special Olympics officials expect will run in different legs of the torch run throughout the state, culminating Friday at Illinois State University’s Hancock Stadium, where a cauldron will be lit to signify the start of the Summer Games. The Law Enforcement Torch Run® is the single largest year-round fundraising event benefiting Special Olympics Illinois. The annual intrastate relay and its various fundraising projects have two goals: to raise money and to gain awareness for the athletes who participate in Special Olympics Illinois. The Law Enforcement Torch Run® has raised nearly $28 million over 27 years while increasing awareness of Special Olympics Illinois athletes and their accomplishments.
NIU Police also participated in the May 30 “Cop on a Rooftop” promotion at Dunkin Donuts with other area law enforcement agencies, raising approximately $1,500 for the Law Enforcement Torch Run Fund benefitting Special Olympics Illinois.
Special Olympics Illinois is a not-for-profit organization offering year-round training and competition in 19 sports for nearly 21,500 athletes with intellectual disabilities and more than 18,500 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.