For the seventh year in a row, police officers from Joliet, Minooka, Crestwood and other police departments throughout Illinois will head to more than 95 Dunkin’ Donuts rooftops to heighten awareness and raise donations for the 24th Annual Law Enforcement Torch Run to benefit Special Olympics Illinois.

On Friday, May 22nd beginning at 5 a.m., and continuing until 2 p.m., rain or shine, police officers will stake themselves atop Dunkin’ Donuts stores at locations including both Dunkin’ Donuts in Minooka, at 106 N. Ridge Road and 2081 Ridge Road, as well as locations in Joliet, Cretwood, New Lenox, Lemont and Oswego.

Chief Doug Hayse would like to thank the supporters from last year who made the 2008 event a huge success in Minooka.

“The goal for this year is to double the amount of monies raised last year, and with your help I know it can be done,” Hayse said.

Illinois Torch Run Director and Channahon Police Chief Joe Pena says that, despite the economy, “I’m very optimistic that Dunkin’ Donuts good customers and our always dedicated Special Olympics supporters will contribute to another record year for this event.”

The stakes for this year’s rooftop stakeout are high…donations will need to top last year’s total of $144,000 raised at 68 Dunkin’ Donuts locations.

“Support of Special Olympics is as strong as ever,” Pena continued, “and the police officers in this state are an extremely committed bunch, participating in events that support our athletes year-round. Last year, we were the fifth highest grossing Torch Run program in the world.”

In return for the police officers doing time at their stores, Dunkin’ Donuts will donate $10,000 to the Torch Run fund. In addition, everyone who visits a Cop on a Rooftop store that day and makes a donation to the Torch Run will receive a free doughnut.

Persons who donate at least $10 will receive a Law Enforcement Torch Run travel mug and coupon for free medium coffee. Other items, such as Torch Run T-shirts pins, hats, will be sold for various donation amounts.

The Law Enforcement Torch Run was started in 1986. 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.

Special Olympics Illinois is a not-for-profit organization offering year-round sports training and competition in 19 sports for more than 20,000 individuals with intellectual disabilities.  Special Olympics Illinois programs enhance physical fitness, motor skills, self-confidence and social skills, and encourage family support.  If you are interested in learning more about Special Olympics Illinois, visit the website at

Morris Daily Herald