By Stephanie Malench
Dunkin Donuts nationwide held their 18th annual fundraiser for Special Olympics on August 20.
The event, previously known as Cop on a Rooftop, was rebranded Coffee For Champions in order to better reflect the goal of the fundraiser, said Sandy Nash, Director of Development Law Enforcement Torch Run for the Special Olympics Illinois.
This year the state level competitions were held virtually, even though some of the local competitions were held live. The competitions were for completion only, no medals. Nash said the goal the last two years has been to keep the athletes healthy during COVID, adding “athletes felt like they were being shoved back in the closet” because many are in the highest risk categories.
The Torch was was also held virtually in mid to late June in local communities instead of across the state.
Last year, Illinois Special Olympics was the first to hold esports competitions (video games such as League of Legends played in an organized, competitive environment) in their Unified Sports division where Special Olympians complete on the same teams as their peers.
In addition to raising money for Special Olympics, the fundraiser allows police across Illinois to go back to their roots, volunteering time to make an impact.
The Troy Police Department raised $7072 during the seven-hour fundraiser that morning.