Departments and agencies participating in the North Carolina Torch Run have numerous fundraising events throughout the year. These events range from golf tournaments, to motorcycle rides, to road races and vary with the community interest. A current list of events can also be found in the Torch Run Calendar.
In addition to these uniquely local events, there are signature Torch Run events that generally work well in a majority of communities throughout the state. These events include:
T-shirt sales generate approximate 10% of the $1 million raised annually by the Torch Run in NC. Each year a unique T-shirt design is sold statewide by Law Enforcement Officers. The minimum donation for a cotton t-shirt is $13. Starting in 2011, a technical running shirt — 100% polyester shirt that wicks away the sweat — is available. A donation of $20 will get you a technical running shirt. Many departments will set up a table in a high traffic location such as a community event/festival or in a popular shopping center to solicit donations for the high quality shirts.
Cops-on-Top Building Sit
Officers sit on top of a building in a high traffic location such as a Walmart or a fast food restaurant — like Chick-fil-A — and draw people to the area while other volunteers solicit funds from patrons. A document that provides best practices and detailed timelines for the event is available for download as a .pdf.
This is a fun and unique event that involves a group of people jumping into a body of water in the middle of winter. The plungers raise money for the privilege of jumping into the water. A number of these events are held throughout the state on an annual basis. A list of plunges in North Carolina can be found at www.polarplungenc.com. Tips to maximize the fundraising for your Polar Plunge (.pdf) can be found on the SONC website.
Parking Lot Polar Plunge
This event is the same as the traditional Polar Plunge, but it takes place in a swimming pool set up in a parking lot or other similar location.
A Tip-a-Cop event is a great was for law enforcement officers to get into the community and be able to interact with the public in a one-on-one setting. Law Enforcement Officials partner with the traditional waitstaff to serve as “celebrity” wait staff and help with duties such as refilling drinks and bringing out bread while talking to the customers about Special Olympics and the Torch Run. At the end of the meal, law enforcement officials ask for a donations for Special Olympics in addition to any tip that would normally be left for the wait staff. Tip-a-Cop Event Information and Timeline.
The World’s Largest Truck Convoy for Special Olympics
This event takes place on the 3rd Saturday of September each year in Raleigh and Charlotte. Local law enforcement officers escort a convoy of trucks through the area to raise awareness and funds. The truckers pay an entry fee to participate and also raise additional funds for the privilege of being the lead truck or the last truck.
Plane Pull for Special Olympics North Carolina
Five-person teams compete to see who can pull a 35,000-pound jet the fastest. Visit ncplanepull.com for more information on this event.
Bowl for the Gold
This is a bowling tournament open to all ages and skill levels to assist law enforcement officers in raising money for Special Olympics. The tournament is a three game best combined score event with prizes for highest individual scorer, highest team score and highest individual single game score.
Run WITH the Law
This event involves middle and high school students and local law enforcement coordinated by the School Resource Officer. Participants raise funds in order to run with law enforcement officers and the “Flame of Hope.” Additional information and a timeline for Run WITH the Law as well as the Run WITH the Law Participation Waiver are now available.
Walk for the Gold
Walk for the Gold information is available for download.
Contact Dot Kohlbach for more information on Torch Run Events.