Join 'World's Largest Truck Convoy' to Help Special Olympics

September 13, 2013

Truckers throughout the nation can sign up for the World's Longest Truck Convoy this month, planting the seeds of joy for Special Olympians as law enforcement and truckers join together for unique fundraisers held throughout the country.

The events are staged at various locations across the country so that supporters of Special Olympics can demonstrate their devotion to the cause. While convoys in most locations are set for Sept 21, some areas schedule them on other dates if there are scheduling conflicts.

Law enforcement officers escort the convoys up to 30 miles through and about the host cities to generate publicity for the events that tend to include a picnic, barbeque and awards ceremony, held in tribute to participating truckers and the industry for the charity.

The vehicles gather at a staging area and convoy through the metro area to a predetermined site like a raceway, fairgrounds or truck stop to be welcomed by the Special Olympics community.

Participating vehicles are limited to semi-trailer trucks, large trucks, low-boys, dump trucks, flat beds, buses, large tow trucks and large box trucks – all trucks must be at least 10 tons gross vehicle weight to enter the event. Trucks containing hazardous materials or bearing the names or logos of alcohol or tobacco companies are prohibited.

The convoys are often held in conjunction with law enforcement torch runs. The Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics (LETR) began in 1981 when Wichita, Kansas (USA), Police Chief Richard LaMunyon took action to increase local awareness of Special Olympics, seeing it as an ideal way to get local personnel involved in the Special Olympics community.

Subsequently adopted by the International Association of Chiefs of Police, the organization is now recognized as the founder of the LETR. After 32 years, this support has come to providing a stable fundraising function for Special Olympics athletes worldwide.

"Special Olympics has a way of bringing everyone together, setting aside differences and building atmospheres of acceptance," said Tom Reasoner, Assistant Director of the Illinois Law Enforcement Torch Run. "The fact that Special Olympics can bring together law enforcement and truckers is a testament to how the athletes of Special Olympics are a true inspiration."

These events and fundraising efforts include T-shirt and merchandise sales, donations and pledges for runners who participate in the LETR, corporate partnerships and special events such as Polar Plunge, Tip-A-Cop, Cops on Top, golf tournaments as well as the World's Largest Truck Convoy.

More than 85,000 law enforcement officers support the movement through the Law Enforcement Torch Run and the World's Largest Truck Convoy. Comprehensive Torch Run and Truck Convoy information and resources are available on the Special Olympics Resources website.

North America has 544,581 athletes participating in all 30 sports offered by Special Olympics. It is home to athletes from Canada, the Caribbean and the United States. Special Olympics is dedicated to empowering individuals with intellectual disabilities to become physically fit, productive and respected members of society through sports training and competition.

For more information on how to participate visit http://resources.specialolympics.org/Topics/Torch_Run/About_Truck_Convoy.aspx

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