Flame of Hope Award Nomination
The Law Enforcement Torch Run is the single largest fundraising vehicle for Special Olympics Illinois. Since 1986, the Illinois law enforcement community has been building a culture of respect and inclusion for individuals with intellectual disabilities. Through the Torch Run, the athletes of Special Olympics Illinois are able to realize their full potential and make a positive impact in their communities. 

The Flame of Hope is the highest honor of recognition given by Special Olympics Illinois, presented annually to one individual and one department/agency/organization for their dedicated involvement in the Torch Run. 

The Flame of Hope award is open to any individual and department, agency or organization involved in the Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics Illinois. This award is based on the nominee’s ingenuity, drive, commitment and dedication to the Torch Run, which directly impacts the lives of the more than 21,000 athletes with intellectual disabilities and nearly 9,000 Young Athletes ages 2-7 with and without intellectual disabilities of Special Olympics Illinois.  
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  • Ingenuity: Nominee has developed a new fundraising idea or a new approach to an existing idea to revitalize it.
  • Drive: Nominee takes initiative to implement new ideas; constantly aims to improve the Torch Run and strives to be a top fundraiser.
  • Commitment:  Nominee’s scope of involvement.
  • Dedication:  Nominee has been involved over an extended period of time; continues to be an active and positive member of the Torch Run; gives freely of their time.
To nominate an individual or department/agency/organization, complete the form on the reverse side and submit to George Peterson of Special Olympics Illinois no later than December 1, 2023. It is very important to include supporting materials (stories, photos, videos, newspaper clippings, etc.) produced by or concerning the nominee. All nominations will remain active for three years.   
Anyone actively involved in the Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics Illinois may submit a nomination. The Torch Run State Director, SO ILL TR Liaison and SO ILL President & CEO may not make a nomination, as they are the selection committee.  
2022 Normal Police Department
2021 Glendale Heights P.D
2020 Illinois State Police 
2019 Oak Brook Police Dept. 
2018 Oak Forest Police Dept. 
2017 Troy Police Dept. 
2016 Bloomington Police Dept. 
2015 Rockford Police Dept. 
2014 Woodridge Police Dept. 
2013 Colleen MacRunnels & Maple Park P.D. 
2012 Chris Soderlund & Crestwood P.D 
2011 Jeff Price & El Paso P.D 
2010 Alan Winslow & Bethalto P.D 
2009 Dwayne English & Joliet P.D 
2008 Russ Laine & Algonquin P.D 
2007 Jim Kuchenbecker & Washington P.D 
2006 Bob Soukup & Orland Park P.D 
2005 Steve Balinski & Buffalo Grove P.D 
2004 Mark Eiting & Plainfield P.D 
2003 Doug Hayse & Morris P.D 
2002 McHenry County Government Center
2002 Jeff Wild & O’Fallon P.D 
2001 Cook County Sheriff’s Dept. 
2000 Tom Reasoner & Clarendon Hills P.D 
1999 Tom Yokley & Illinois State Police 
1998 Bruno Kalan & Western Springs P.D 
1997 Darrell Sanders & Frankfort P.D  
2022 John Bending, Hoffman Estates Police Dept.
2021 Tosha Bunch, IDJJ 
2020 Amy Williams, Huntley Police Dept. 
2019 Brian Gimpel, O’Fallon Police Dept. 
2018 Chuck Mattmiller, IDOC 
2017 Chris Soderlund, Crestwood Police Dept. 
2016 Dan Kott, Geneva Police Dept. 
2015 John Proffitt, Fairview Heights PD. 
2014 Diane Vanderkooy, Illinois State 
2013 Bill Devine, Tinley Park Police Dept. 
2012 Jim Meier, Cook Co. Sheriff (Retired) 
2011 Dennis Reilly, Riverdale Police Dept. 
2010 Linda Hagemann, Kane County SAO 
2009 Mark Houston, Springfield Police Dept. 
2008 Jack Rood, Gilberts Police Dept. 
2007 Mary Pocuis, NEMRT  
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