LONG BEACH, Calif. (May 29, 2017) – The 48th annual Special Olympics Southern California (SOSC) Summer Games will take place June 10-11 on the campus of California State University, Long Beach. The Opening Ceremony will begin on Saturday morning at 9:30 a.m. However, it will not start without the Flame of Hope, and its journey through 883.8 miles of Southern California begins on Tuesday, May 30.
Every year, law enforcement officers throughout Southern California commit themselves to the Law Enforcement Torch Run Final Leg, raising both awareness and money for Special Olympics Southern California. More than 3,500 officers will assist in carrying the Flame of Hope across nearly 900 miles before ending at the Summer Games.
The torch travels three legs through Southern California – a Northern Leg (San Luis Obispo, Ventura, Santa Barbara, Los Angeles counties), Central Leg (Los Angeles county including downtown LA) and a Southern Leg (San Diego, Riverside, Orange, San Bernardino and Los Angeles counties). The journey begins with the Southern Leg on Tuesday, May 30 at the Chula Vista Police Department (315 Forth Avenue, Chula Vista, Calif.).
The event will include a ceremonial lighting of the torch with recognition by chiefs and executive leadership. SOSC athlete Lindsey Newman will be a part of the ceremonies, which begin at 9:30 a.m. Law enforcement officers from San Diego County will then begin the Flame of Hope’s journey at 10:15 a.m.
Both the Northern Leg and Central Leg will begin on Monday, June 5.
The Flame of Hope will travel through Downtown Los Angeles on Thursday, June 8 and will feature handoff ceremonies at the Los Angeles Police Department Headquarters (100 West 1st Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012) and Los Angeles County Sheriffs Department Hall of Justice (211 W. Temple Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012).
Los Angeles Police Department Juvenile Division will run with the Flame of Hope from the Cesar Chavez Bridge to LAPD Headquarters. At approximately 9:30 a.m. LAPD Chief Charlie Beck and/or department representatives will celebrate the torch hand-off at Headquarters. LAPD Juvenile Division will continue to run with the torch to the Hall of Justice where LAPD Deputy Chief Michael Moore will hand-off the torch to Sheriff Jim McDonnell and/or department representatives at approximately 9:45 a.m.
Executives from both LAPD and LASD will celebrate the hand-off of the torch. SOSC athletes Caley Versfelt and Jordan Wall will be a part of the ceremonies.
The Northern Leg will feature Northern Santa Barbara County Final Leg Ceremonies on Tuesday, June 6. Santa Maria City Hall Courtyard (110 E. Cook St., Santa Maria) hosts handoff ceremonies at 12 noon as the Santa Maria Police Department takes the torch. It continues with ceremonies by the Lompoc Police Department at the AHC Law Enforcement Academy (One Hancock Dr., Lompoc) at 4 p.m., followed by its arrival at Lompoc Police Department (107 Civic Center Plaza, Lompoc) at 4:$5 p.m.
The South County 2017 LETR Ceremony is hosted by the UCSB Police Department at their Public Safety Parking Lot on June 7 starting at 11:30 a.m. Executives and officers from Santa Barbara County will oversee the torch handoff to the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Department.
The Final Leg will travel through more than 150 communities in Southern California. There are multiple locations that are ideal to watch the pageantry of the torch run. Route maps can be found on SOSC.org/FinalLeg.
About Summer Games
One June 10 and 11, the passion of sports will be on full display during the 2017 Summer Games at California State University, Long Beach. More than 1,100 athletes from across Southern California will compete for gold, silver and bronze medals and ribbons. The games feature six ports – aquatics, track & field, basketball, bocce, golf, and gymnastics. Along with six sport venues, the Game include live music, games, law enforcement and sponsor booths, Young Athletes Festival, free health screenings for athletes through Healthy Athletes and more. The Summer Games are free to the public, and everyone is encourage to come be Fans in the Stands. For more information, visit SOSC.org/SummerGames.
About Special Olympics Southern California
Special Olympics Southern California enriches the lives of athletes with intellectual disabilities through sports, health, and leadership programs. Special Olympics helps athletes become more independent, build self-esteem, and live healthier lives. They inspire people to open their hearts and create more accepting and inclusive communities. All Special Olympics programs are free to the athletes and their families. Learn more at www.sosc.org.
About Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics Southern California
Law Enforcement Torch Run® (LETR) is the largest public awareness vehicle and grass-roots fundraiser for Special Olympics Southern California (SOSC). In 2016, more than 3,500 Southern California officers and 200 law enforcement agencies raised $1.5 million.