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Article updated: 6/27/2013 9:08 PM

W. Chicago police team carries Flame of Hope for Special Olympics Illinois

West Chicago Mayor Ruben Pineda hands a check representing the fundraising efforts of the West Chicago Police Department for Special Olympics Illinois to West Chicago's Torch Run Leg 14 Leader, Mary Pocuis. Standing beside Mayor Pineda to his left are Tom Reasoner, Asstistant Torch Run Director and West Chicago Police Chief Laz Perez.

West Chicago Mayor Ruben Pineda hands a check representing the fundraising efforts of the West Chicago Police Department for Special Olympics Illinois to West Chicago's Torch Run Leg 14 Leader, Mary Pocuis. Standing beside Mayor Pineda to his left are Tom Reasoner, Asstistant Torch Run Director and West Chicago Police Chief Laz Perez.

 

Courtesy City of West Chicago

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By Rosemary Mackey

West Chicago, Illinois: June 26, 2013 - Great things happen when caring people get involved, like the team of community champions who participated in the West Chicago leg of the Illinois Law Enforcement Torch Run held earlier this month. Together with other law enforcement agencies, the statewide fundraising campaign which supports Special Olympics Illinois topped the $3 million mark. This is the first time the organization has reached that dollar level.

According to the Special Olympics Illinois website, approximately 3,000 officers representing every branch of law enforcement across the state from local police officers to FBI agents took part in carrying the Flame of Hope nearly 1,500 miles, running through thousands of Illinois communities via 23 different legs (routes) to its final destination -- the Opening Ceremonies of the Special Olympics Illinois Summer Games in June in Normal.

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Earlier this year, the West Chicago Police Department raised $2,400 in its Cop on Top campaign, in which officers sat atop local Dunkin' Donuts rooftops to raise awareness and funds for Special Olympics Illinois. According to Matt Johnson, Director of Marketing & Events for Special Olympics Illinois, 150 locations participated in this pre-Torch Run event throughout the area and raised more than $285,000 prior to the Torch Run.

The next local fundraiser for Special Olympics Illinois will coincide with West Chicago's Railroad Days on July 13, 2013 from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. when the West Chicago Police Department hosts the annual Car Show at Reed-Keepler Park. A flier for the event may be found at www.westchicago.org. Of special note, a new category has been added, Top Police Car, with the hope that a number of surrounding agencies will be represented at the show. Those who are interested in participating should contact Detective Robbi Peterson at (630) 340-6695.

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