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What's Behind Guardians of the Flame

Updated: Apr 20, 2023

The Law Enforcement Torch Run® (LETR) for Special Olympics is the largest year-round public awareness and grass-roots fundraising campaign for Special Olympics. Known as Guardians of the Flame, law enforcement members and Special Olympics athletes carry the Flame of Hope into the Opening Ceremony of local competitions, and into Special Olympics State, National, Regional and World Games. Annually, more than 110,000 dedicated and compassionate law enforcement members carry the “Flame of Hope,” symbolizing courage and the celebration of diversity, uniting communities around the globe. Here in North Carolina, nearly 2,000 law enforcement personnel support the NC LETR annually!

The LETR for Special Olympics engages law enforcement worldwide, championing acceptance and inclusion for people with intellectual disabilities, starting first with their own communities. Over the years, the Torch Run has evolved and now encompasses a variety of innovative fundraising events, Since its inception, LETR has raised almost $900 million worldwide with over $30 million being raised for Special Olympics North Carolina.

Today we put a spotlight on the work of the efforts of our Apex Police Department in our own sesquicentennial journey. Over the next year, we are sharing about organizations, programs and people making a difference.


Apex started celebrating 150 years on February 28, 2023 and that celebration is so big, it lasts till February 28, 2024.

Did you know that The Apex Police Department is one of the top fundraising departments in North Carolina?

Finishing in 3rd place in 2022, raising $60,779.19 in 2022.

Consistently at the top of the list for their fundraising efforts!

The department has a variety of ways to stay connected to supporting this event.

  • On the Town of Apex site you'll find details about the department's efforts.

  • Follow their Facebook page to stay in touch with all the upcoming events.

  • Their next fundraising & awareness event is Cops on Top April 21 from 8 am to 6 pm at Chick-fil-a in Beaver Creek Commons. No donation too small. All donations go to help support the more than 40,000 Special Olympics athletes across the state of North Carolina. Support Special Olympics on Friday with donations or purchasing really cool gear to wear! Besides, when do you get to see a Cop on Top of the building?

  • Some additional ways the department raises money includes the annual Polar Plunge in the winter and their annual golf tournament & Bike Ride each September- called a day behind bars! It's cool seeing all the local agency riders, with local riders supporting Special Olympics. They've even been seen going over the edge!

If you've never see the local departments pass the torch running from Apex to Holly Springs to Fuquay-Varina and beyond, save the date for the 2023 NC LETR Final Leg!

Law enforcement officers throughout North Carolina will carry the Special Olympics Flame of Hope across the state throughout May and early June. Traveling across North Carolina from six different points and spanning over 2,000 miles, the relays will culminate on Friday, June 2, for the Circle of Honor and lighting of the cauldron at the 2023 Special Olympics NC Summer Games Opening Ceremony in Raleigh.

Did you miss our last story in this 150 series?

You'll find one of the officer's involved with Apex PD dancing a PeakFest, one of our recent stories.

On a personal note: The Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics, is one of our long-standing partner- programs we support as part of our Promotional Partners Cares Program.

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