New York Law Enforcement Member to Carry Flame of Hope at 2018 Special Olympics USA Games

Lt. Prewasnicak Honored with Spot on 2018 Special Olympics USA Games Law Enforcement Torch Run Final Leg Team

Before competition begins at the 2018 Special Olympics USA Games in Seattle next July, an elite group of individuals will serve as the “Guardians of the Flame” and will escort the Special Olympics Flame of Hope on a journey across Washington state. Lieutenant John Prewasnicak of the Rochester Police Department is among those who will make up this prestigious “Final Leg” team for the Law Enforcement Torch Run® (LETR) at the 2018 Special Olympics USA Games.

Since the first Special Olympics USA Games in 2006, members of law enforcement and Special Olympics athletes from across the United States have carried the Flame of Hope in the LETR Final Leg to usher the start of the national competition.

From June 27 through July 1, the LETR Final Leg team will conduct multiple runs and ceremonies in cities, towns and communities across Washington state to raise awareness for Special Olympics and generate excitement for the 2018 USA Games. The 2018 LETR Final Leg culminates on July 1 when the team escorts the Flame of Hope into the Opening Ceremony at Husky Stadium at the University of Washington in Seattle.

Lt. Prewasnicak has been involved in LETR activities for the past 10 years – actively involved in numerous Torch Runs, Cops on Top and Polar Plunge fundraisers. He also serves as a volunteer for several Special Olympics New York State Games held throughout the year; in this capacity he hands out medals, supports and congratulates the athletes. Lt. Prewasnicak has also been involved with the LETR – NY state committee for the past few years and has attended several LETR International Conferences.

Lt. Prewasnicak was awarded The Henry Jensen Memorial Award in 2016, this honor came during the annual Law Day celebration. The award is given to a member of the Rochester PD for their volunteerism on their own time. The Rochester Police Department gave him this award for his work with the LETR and Special Olympics New York. The award is named in honor of Henry Jensen, a former Rochester deputy police chief.

The 2018 Special Olympics USA Games will be held in Seattle, Washington July 1-6, 2018. More than 4,000 athletes and coaches representing all 50 states and the District of Columbia, along with the support of tens of thousands of volunteers and spectators, will compete in 14 Olympic-type team and individual sports. The 2018 Special Olympics USA Games will celebrate the Special Olympics movement and its 50th anniversary; promote the ideals of acceptance and inclusion through sport; and showcase athletes from throughout the U.S. and the abilities of people with intellectual disabilities. The 2018 USA Games will also highlight Special Olympics’ work in sport, education, health and community-building.

The Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics is the Special Olympics movement’s largest grassroots fundraiser and public awareness vehicle in the world. In 2016, law enforcement volunteers raised $56.6 million for Special Olympics programs around the world and eclipsed $675 million since the inception of the LETR in 1981.

For more information on the LETR Final Leg team, please visit http://www.letr-finalleg.org/. The schedule of events and ceremonies for the 2018 USA Games LETR Final Leg will be announced in Spring 2018. Photos from the 2018 Special Olympics USA Games Law Enforcement Torch Run will be available on the LETR Final Leg website.

ABOUT THE 2018 SPECIAL OLYMPICS USA GAMES   Hashtags: #RiseWithUs   #2018USAGames

The 2018 Special Olympics USA Games will be held in Seattle, Washington July 1-6, 2018. More than 4,000 participants representing all 50 states and the District of Columbia, along with the support of tens of thousands of volunteers and spectators, will compete in 14 Olympic-type team and individual sports. The 2018 Special Olympics USA Games will celebrate the Special Olympics movement and its 50th anniversary; promote the ideals of acceptance and inclusion through sport; and showcase athletes from throughout the U.S. and the abilities of people with intellectual disabilities. The 2018 USA Games will also highlight Special Olympics’ work in sport, education, health and community-building. For more information on the 2018 Special Olympics USA Games, please visit www.SpecialOlympicsUSAGames.org.

ABOUT SPECIAL OLYMPICS NEW YORK                      Hash Tag: #SpecialOlympicsNY

Special Olympics New York provides year-round sports training and competition in 22 Olympic-style sports to children and adults with intellectual disabilities at no cost to the athletes, their families or caregivers. Special Olympics New York serves 68,547 (2016 census) athletes, and is acknowledged as the largest program in the United States as well as being the sixth largest program in the world. Special Olympics New York has its headquarters in Schenectady, with offices in the Long Island, New York City, Hudson Valley, Central, Western, Capital and Genesee regions.

Facebook: www.facebook.com/SpecialOlympicsNewYork  Twitter: @sonyinfo Instagram: @specialolympicsnyYouTube: www.youtube.com/profile?user=polarsony  SmugMug: www.specialolympicsny.smugmug.com Website: www.specialolympics-ny.org

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MEDIA CONTACT: Luke Folts, Special Olympics New York, Inc., 585-586-7400 x 5108