The Statewide Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics Missouri (SOMO), founded by the Missouri Police Chiefs Association (MPCA) 31 years ago, will begin on May 21, and will continue through Friday, June 1.

The Statewide Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics Missouri (SOMO), founded by the Missouri Police Chiefs Association (MPCA) 31 years ago, will begin on May 21, and will continue through Friday, June 1.

The Special Olympics Torch will be carried through Carthage by Carthage police officers and Jasper County Sheriff's Deputies starting at 9 a.m., Tuesday, May 22, at Central and Baker, and going around the Carthage Square between 9:15 a.m. and 9:30 a.m.

Law Enforcement officers from around the state will be running the torch to raise awareness for Special Olympics Missouri (SOMO) and the 2017 State Summer Games. The State Summer Games will be held in Springfield on June 1 - 3. The culmination of the Torch Run - the lighting of the Flame of Hope - will take place during the Opening Ceremony, June 1 at Hammons Student Center, beginning at 7 p.m.

The 2018 Torch Run Route Schedule follows below. If you have questions or would like more information regarding the Law Enforcement Torch Run, please visit www.somo.org/torchrun or contact Crystal Schuster, Torch Run Development Director, at cschuster@somo.org or (573) 635-1660 ext 26.

The Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics is an annual event. The guiding purpose of the event is to raise funds and awareness for Special Olympics Missouri. Special Olympics is law enforcement’s charity of choice, not only in Missouri, but worldwide. More than 2,500 runners from 119 agencies from across the state will participate in the 2018 Torch Run. These runners will complete 38 different routes and cover more than 1,000 miles across Missouri.

Missouri Law Enforcement Agencies are attempting to raise $2.2 million this year through various fundraising initiatives including the Polar Plunge®, selling Torch Run T-shirts and organizing special events such as the World’s Largest Truck Convoy®, Over the Edge® and Tip-A-Cop® events. “They are passionate about raising money and awareness for SOMO. Law enforcement has been the largest supporter of the Special Olympics movement worldwide; we are forever grateful,” says Mark Musso, SOMO President & CEO.

In 2017, Missouri's Torch Run was awarded the ranking of No. 7 in the world based on gross dollars raised. Shop 'n Save is the Presenting Sponsor of Missouri’s Torch Run, providing year-round fundraising assistance.