Police officers collecting money on anniversary of first special Olympics Games


Spare Change for Real Change events are being held in at least 16 communities around the state (see list of cities, locations, contact names below). Times will vary by location.

“Spare Change for Real Change is an opportunity to celebrate the birth of a program that started in Illinois and has grown to an international movement with more than 3.7 million athletes participating globally,” said Illinois Law Enforcement Torch Run Director Eric Smith. “For more than 25 years, law enforcement in Illinois has chosen Special Olympics as its charity of choice. This event will help us to raise not only money, but awareness for an under-served community of society.”

The Law Enforcement Torch Run is the single largest year-round fundraising vehicle benefiting Special Olympics Illinois. The annual intrastate relay and its various fundraising projects have two goals: to raise money and to gain awareness for the athletes who participate in Special Olympics Illinois. The Law Enforcement Torch Run has raised more than $25 million over 26 years while increasing awareness of Special Olympics Illinois athletes and their accomplishments. Each year, more than 3,000 officers in Illinois run more than 1,500 miles carrying the Flame of Hope through the streets of their hometowns and deliver it to the State Summer Games in Normal in June.

Special Olympics Illinois is a not-for-profit organization offering year-round training and competition in 19 sports for more than 21,000 athletes with intellectual disabilities and more than 11,000 Young Athletes ages 2-7 with and without intellectual disabilities. Special Olympics changes lives by empowering people with intellectual disabilities to realize their full potential in sports and in life. Special Olympics programs enhance physical fitness, motor skills, self-confidence, social skills and encourage family and community support.  If you are interested in learning more about Special Olympics Illinois, volunteering or providing financial support to help make Special Olympics programs possible, contact your local Special Olympics agency, call 800-394-0562 or visit our website at www.soill.org.

Spare Change for Real Change events are being held in the following communities:
(Contact names included for each location. Officers may be contacted at their respective departments)

  State & Lincoln St.
  State & Locust St.
Robert Kozlowski, Belvidere PD

  Maple & Washington St.
Joe Pilarski, Carpentersville PD

  Jewel on Route 14

Buddah Bean coffee house
  Dunkin’ Donuts on Route 14
Steve Casstevens, Cary PD

  7 sites around city
Sheri Catino, Chicago PD

Chicago Heights
  Route 30 & Chicago Rd.
   Joe Orr & Halsted Rd.
Alexander Romano, Chicago Heights PD

  Location to be determined
Rick Pasquini, Crete PD

  Route 72 & Tyrrell Rd.
  Mobil – 171 E. Higgins Rd.
  Tyrell Rd. and Big Timber Rd.
  Big Timber Rd. & Timber Trails Blvd.
James Levand, Gilberts PD

  Black Rd. & Essington Rd.
  Jefferson St. & Larkin Ave.
Lisa Yanchick, Joliet PD

New Lenox
  Location to be determined
Mike Jurka, New Lenox PD

  Willow St. & School St.
Nikki Bruno, Normal PD

Oak Brook
  Route 83 & 22nd St.
  22nd St. & Midwest Rd.
Mike McTighe, Oak Brook PD

Park Ridge
  Touhy/Prospect/Northwest Highway
  Higgins and Cumberland in Park Ridge
Julie Genualdi, Park Ridge PD

  18th St. and State St.
  24th St. and Harrison St.
Kelly Vandermaiden, Quincy PD

  Metra Platform on 144th St.
Dennis Reilly, Riverdale PD


  711 Store – 103 W. Market St.
  Phillips 66 – 123 N. Williams St.
  Kochs Food and Liquor – 603 Chicago Rd.
Joe Tieri, Thornton PD

West Dundee
  Jewel-Osco, 1250 W. Main St.
  Steve Fletter & Kevin Burke, West Dundee PD