Quarterly Update- March 2014

Quarterly Update- March 2014

The Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics New York is off to a great start in 2014!  With final numbers finally in, we are proud to announce that the LETR movement in New York raised nearly $1.7 million in 2013!  Another record breaking year and it does not look like things are slowing down.  Take a look at the great things that are happening across the state!  Thank you for all of your hard work and dedication to the Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics NY!

Genesee Region

The Genesee Region’s Torch Run season started off with a bang, having a record breaking event at the 2014 Rochester Polar Plunge. In its 14th year, the Rochester Polar Plunge witnessed 2,100 individuals “freezing for a reason” and raised nearly $300,000! The Genesee Region Torch run members had little time to rest as they are now hard at work planning for the area’s second Polar Plunge in Canandaigua, taking place on April 5 at Onanda Park. This event is also on track to have a record year in both participants and dollars raised. The region’s Polar Plunge season will be immediately followed by partnering with Applebee’s to kick off the annual Law & Order campaign. On Friday May 30th, the region’s Torch run series will begin with a very exciting night as local law enforcement will run the torch into Frontier Field and be honored by the Rochester Red Wings!

Hudson Valley

We held our 16th Annual Fishkill Polar Plunge on Saturday, February 22nd.  We had 800 participants and over 2,000 in attendance raising approximately $150,000 for our wonderful Athletes.  Every year, our numbers increase and will continue to keep this growing trend.  We were once again blessed with beautiful weather, caring donors/sponsors and brave souls (including our Athletes) plunging into icy, cold waters of Camp Mariah, Sharpe Reservation, Fishkill, NY.

“I have to say that this plunge was the best plunge I did in the past 10 years!” – Tom Gervasi, FOP 704

“Kappa Kappa Gamma at Marist College just wanted to thank you for an amazing polar plunge this year! We were really happy to take part and help out. We are looking forward to making the Fishkill polar plunge a yearly event for our chapter to take part in!” Amery Labib

Next year will be even bigger and better!  It will be held on Saturday, February 21, 2015!  Mark your Calendars!  Can’t wait!

Long Island

The Long Island Region started the year off with over 600 participants raising over $82,000 for the 10th Annual Town of North Hempstead Polar Plunge at North Hempstead Beach Park in Port Washington. The Long Island Torch Run series is quickly approaching! On May 20th the Flame of Hope will start to make it’s way across Long Island at the Eastern Long Island Torch Run from Montauk to East Hampton. On May 22nd the Nassau County Leg will start at Green Acres Mall in Valley Stream, run along Sunrise Highway, and end at Farmingdale State College. The Suffolk County Leg will start at the East Islip Fire Department, run along Montauk Highway and end at Farmingdale State College where they will meet with the Nassau County Leg & Special Olympics Athletes to run into the ceremony. We look forward to another amazing Torch Run season before sending off 14 athletes to the USA Games in Princeton, New Jersey!

Central Region & Southern Tier

2014 Winter Games were held in Syracuse February 21-23, 2015.  More than twenty area agencies and nearly 100 local officers attended either the opening ceremonies to light the cauldron or were present at competitions to award medals to the athletes.  Special thanks all Statewide LETR who attended, and 2014 Winter Games LETR Co-Chairs Deputy Chief D. Paul Waltz- NYS University Police at Upstate and Officer Stacey Wickes- Dewitt Police Department.

Central Region & Southern Tier Spring LETR events include; Ithaca Polar Plunge, Oswego Polar Plunge, Applebee’s Law & Orders, and Torch Run.

Western Region

The Western Region has kicked off Torch Run season with a Law and Order at the three local Tully’s. In just three short hours, the Law and Order raised over $2,000 for our Athletes! This is the second year that the Law Enforcement Torch Run has partnered up with Tully’s and they continually ask us to come back to participate in more events. We will be kicking off our Torch Run series with a Trooper Ross Riley Memorial Run in Olean, NY, running from Lincoln Park into the Opening Ceremonies of the Project Unify Game that St. Bonaventure is hosting. The Torch Run will be once again expanding into different areas, raising more funds and awareness for Special Olympics.

North Country

The Law Enforcement Torch Run in the North Country is taking the beginning of 2014 to grow their program by recruiting new officers and agencies. The efforts by current LETR Statewide Committee members have resulted in a new co-chair, Scott Ewing, for the Clinton & Essex County Torch Runs and a NEW Torch Run leg in Franklin County, led by Chief Chris Premo of the Village of Malone Police Department. With two record breaking Polar Plunges in 2014 in both Massena and Plattsburgh, retail campaigns have already started to raise money for the 2014 Plunges in November. The excitement from 2013 is already translating into new money and participants for events in 2014 including,: The Rundead, Cops on Top, Plattsburgh Polar Plunge & the St. Lawrence Seaway Polar Plunge.

Capital District

The Capital District Region will be kicking off the Torch Run season with our annual “Law & Orders” event.  Officers will trade in handcuffs for serving trays at 8 Applebee’s locations with a goal of raising over $8,000! The Torch Run committee has come together and is actively recruiting for our upcoming Torch Run season, which will consist of 4 legs culminating with our Capital District Run on June 5th in Albany!

New York City

The New York City Region is looking to revamp the Law Enforcement Torch Run in 2014! New staff member, Kaitlin Brennan, is working closely with current committee members on recruiting new agencies and spreading the word about the Law Enforcement Torch Run movement. Officer Kevin Dean with the New York State Unified Court System is working hard at calling local bars and businesses to gain new support and sponsorship for their 2014 Torch Run into the NYC Metro Games on May 31st.


THANK YOU on behalf of all of the athletes of Special Olympics New York!  Without the Law Enforcement Torch Run, we would not be able to support as many athletes and competitions at no cost to our athletes, their families or caregivers.  Special Olympics New York has grown again and we now officially provide year-round sports training in various Olympic-style sports to 64,659 athlete across the state!

Happy Spring!

-Steve & Erin

Captain Steven A. Nigrelli

New York State Police- Troop A

Statewide Torch Run Director

Erin McCartan

Statewide Law Enforcement Torch Run Liaison

Associate Director of Development

Special Olympics NY| (518)388-0790 x. 107| emccartan@nyso.org