The Lemont Police Department took over Dunkin' Donuts on Friday to raise money for Special Olympics Illinois.
Lemont joined police departments across the state for the annual "Cop on Rooftop" fundraiser, which heightens awareness and raises money for for the Law Enforcement Torch Run.
The event was held from 5 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Dunkin' Donuts, 12371 Derby Road, and brought together a number of local officials, police officers and Special Olympians to collect donations outside the store.
Lemont Police Chief Kevin Shaughnessy, Mayor Brian Reaves, River Valley Principal Debra Lynch and Oakwood Principal Cathy Slee were among the officials exiled to the roof while officers collected money along Derby Road and Archer Avenue.
The Cop on Rooftop fundraiser has grown considerably since it begain in 2003. That year, 12 police departments participated and raised $20,000. More than $216,000 was raised during last year's record-breaking event at 116 Dunkin' Donuts locations.
The Lemont Police Department raised more than $5,000 last year, making it the second-most successful event in the state.
Illinois Torch Run Director and Sherman Police Chief Eric Smith said in a news release that despite the economy, he thinks the program can break the record again.
"The story speaks for itself — it’s good and dedicated police officers working to support Special Olympics athletes and their families," Smith said. "And it’s about the average Joes donating change from their morning Joe to help the cause.”
In return for the police officers donating their time, Dunkin’ Donuts will give $10,000 to the Torch Run fund.
The Illinois Law Enforcement Torch Run was founded in 1986, and has since raised nearly $25 million while raising awareness for Special Olympics Illinois athletes. The Torch Run has set a goal of raising $3 million in 2012.
Special Olympics Illinois is a non-profit organization offering year-round training and competition in 19 sports for nearly 21,000 athletes with intellectual disabilities and more than 6,000 young athletes ages 2-7 with and without intellectual disabilities. The first Special Olympics games were held at Soldier Field in July, 1968.
Today, the program now is in more than 170 countries.
To learn more about Special Olympics Illinois, visit www.soill.org.
Anyone wishing to donate can bring a check to the Lemont Police Department, 14600 127th St. Checks should be made payable to Special Olympics.
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