My latest project for my internship is the “Run with the Cops” 5k. I am so honored that I was a part of the planning for this program and got to see it after all the hard work put into it.
The police partner with Special Olympics to do many events, all to raise funds for Special Olympics. This allows absolutely no cost to participate for Olympics. Other programs that are partnered with the police include: Lock Up a Cop, Tip a Cop, Cops Gone Wild and Cop on a Donut Shop. Special Olympics is very lucky to have such generous public servants that continuously donate their time and efforts for Special Olympics.
“Run with the Cops” was the first of its kind in my region. It had been done the year before at UW-Stout and was successful. The next year the program spurred on even more campuses to host a glow run 5k.
My role in the event was planning and getting the word out about this run because it was brand new. So I emailed all the club organizations I thought would be interested. I got an overwhelming response and got a lot of volunteers and runners when I simply spoke to each club of five minutes at their meetings.
Then I put up posters around campus and the downtown businesses. This tactic got the community and college students, two of our target participants to hear about this event, I had posters in a variety of locations, from a natural foods store to a kids consignment shop, from a diner to a hair salon.
Finally, I had a table set up in the commons on campus for two days and talked to interested students and encouraged them to raise funds and participate.
Participants simply needed to raise $25 to run in the 5k. However, there was no limit to donations and some runners raised over $300 individually. These donations made our 5k a roaring success.
“Run with the Cops” was a glow run held at night. There were five stations where volunteers handed out different glow items as they ran by. The top male and female finishers of the race won gift cards to Buffalo Wild Wings and Run Away Shoes.
To start the race activities, police from all over the region came with some of the coolest patrol vehicles. After registering and getting complimentary coffee and donuts, runners toured these vehicles and met their neighborhood heroes. A prison bus, bear cat and drug dogs were just a few of the featured event.
At 6:30pm, the kids run was hosted. Around 50 kids ran the 1k race and received flashing cop car medals and balloons. Afterwards the main event started at 8:30pm. Special Olympics athletes, police and community members all raced for Special Olympics.
Overall, it was a huge success! Four times the amount of runners and volunteers came for “Run with the Cops” 5k. Over 400 runners raced and over $16,000 dollars were raised.
I would call that something we need to do again, wouldn’t you?