Law Enforcement Torch Run

The signature event for Delaware LESO is the annual Torch Run, when over 500 police officers carry the Flame of Hope 160 miles over three days across the state, leading up to the Opening Ceremonies of the Summer Games.

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Date, time and location

2015 Torch Run -- the 29th annual -- begins with a gala send-off on Wednesday, June 10 at the Rehoboth Beach Bandstand beginning at 7 p.m.

Ceremonies will then take place at Legislative Hall in Dover on Thursday at 2 p.m. and Wilmington Police Department on Friday at 1:20 p.m.

The "Flame of Hope" will then be carried into the Opening Ceremony of the Summer Games, which begins Friday evening at 5 p.m. at the Bob Carpenter Center.


Information about the event

Map of Torch Run

Torch Run fact sheet

Summer Games volunteer roles for officers

The Torch Run kicks off in Rehoboth Beach the Wednesday before Summer Games with Law Enforcement motorcycles presenting the ‘Flame of Hope’ during a formal ceremony at the bandstand at 7 p.m. Runners then lead the Torch out of town with the first mile dedicated to Cpl. Chris Shea, DSP, who was tragically killed in a traffic accident. This first leg of the Torch Run is sponsored by Nicola Pizza. The flame continues to Delaware State Police Troop 7 in Lewes where the run stops for the night.

On Thursday, the Torch Run resumes in three Sussex County locations – Delmar, Lewes and Georgetown. The three Sussex County legs of the Torch Run unite in Harrington, where the three torches become one and the run continues north through Kent County. The procession stops for an afternoon ceremony at Legislative Hall in Dover before the flame makes its way to Odessa.

The final day of the Torch Run, Friday, is marked by an early-afternoon ceremony on the steps of the Wilmington Police Department and then specific miles dedicated to law enforcement officers. One of the dedicated portions of the run is the one-mile leg down Main Street in Newark, named "Gary’s Mile," in tribute to Gary Summerville, a University of Delaware officer who died in a traffic accident. The final mile into the athletic complex is known as "Jimmy’s Mile," in honor of Jim Curran, a former New Castle County police officer who was injured in an accident.

The Flame of Hope is then run into the Opening Ceremony (5 p.m. Bob Carpenter Center) by the Torch Runner of the year, who is joined by the Outstanding Athlete for the lighting of the cauldron.

Throughout the Torch Run, the Delaware Good Samaritan (Good Sam) Club follows torch runners in recreational vehicles to provide safety and refreshments, and SODE board member, Winnie Spence, leap-frogs the torch to ensure it stays lit the entire 160 miles. Delaware is the only state in the country that runs a lit 'Flame of Hope' the entire length of the state prior to its Summer Games.


History of the event

The 2015 event marks the 29th annual Torch Run. In the 28-year history of Delaware Law Enforcement for Special Olympics, more than $5 million has been raised.


For more information contact Lisa Smith at or 302-831-3482.



Delaware Law Enforcement for Special Olympics

LESO Fundraising Events

Summer Games

Special Olympics logo

Special Olympics Delaware
619 S. College Ave
Newark, DE 19716
phone 302.831.4653
fax 302.831.3483