Torch Run for Special Olympics passes through H-F towns

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Torch Run for Special Olympics passes through H-F towns

June 10, 2017 - 20:54
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  Flossmoor police officers take part in the June 6
  Torch Run to raise funds for Illinois Special Olympics.

  (Photo by Brittney Ermon/H-F Chronicle)
 
The Homewood and Flossmoor Police Departments joined other enforcement agencies for the Illinois Special Olympics Torch Run June 6, carrying the “Flame of Hope” that symbolizes courage and a celebration of diversity. 
 
Since 1986, police officers throughout the South Suburbs, from patrol officers to chiefs, have supported and participated in the Torch Run. The main goals are to increase awareness and funds for Special Olympics athletes statewide.
 
  Flossmoor Officer Tim
  Filkins, left, runs in full
  uniform. (Photo by 
  Brittney Ermon/H-F 
  Chronicle)
 
This year, law enforcement agencies carried the Flame of Hope nearly 1,500 miles between June 4 and 9. The torch was brought along 23 different routes to its final destination, the June 9 opening ceremony of the Special Olympics Illinois Summer Games in Normal. 
 
Tim Filkins, a Flossmoor patrol officer, went the extra mile and ran in a full uniform that weighs 25 pounds. 
 
“It’s for a good cause and it’s worth the half hour it takes to sweat a little bit more to help people,” he said.
 
Filkins stressed the department would do anything to help others and show its support for a good cause.  
 
“It’s one of the few times in the year when police departments get together to work together on something bigger than themselves,” he said. “It’s just an honor to be able to do.”

The Flossmoor runners handed the torch to the Homewood team shortly before 6:30 p.m.

Homewood Deputy Chief Denise McGrath said the torch carrying duties usually are assigned to one of the junior members of the department. This year, the honor was given to the newest officer on staff, Ephraim "E.J." Dorsey, who will take the oath of office at the board of trustees meeting Tuesday, June 13.

Dorsey said he was excited to be able to participate in the event. 

"It's for a great cause," he said.
 
  Homewood police officer
  Ephraim "E.J." Dorsey, left, 
  awaits the torch hand-off 
  from the Flossmoor 
  Police Department team. 

  (Photo by Eric Crump/
  H-F Chronicle)
 
It was certainly right up his alley. The 2011 Homewood-Flossmoor High School graduate ran for the Vikings, and he continued his track career at Eastern Illinois University, setting a school record for the 600-meter race.

The Law Enforcement Torch Run has raised nearly $43 million over 31 years while increasing awareness of Special Olympics athletes and their accomplishments.
 
Anyone who wishes to donate to Illinois Special Olympics can contribute through the Flossmoor Police Department. Checks should be made payable to Illinois Special Olympics.
 
Interested persons can also call Flossmoor Deputy Chief Tod Kamleiter at 708-957-4500 to have a participating police officer pick up the donation. Checks will be accepted for this year’s Torch Run until August.

Eric Crump contributed to this story.