Energy Transfer To Serve as “Guardians of the Flame” Torch Run Partner
Special Olympics Pennsylvania (SOPA) announced a three-year partnership that will recognize Energy Transfer as its Law Enforcement Torch Run (LETR) Guardians of the Flame Premier Sponsor. LETR, the largest public awareness vehicle and grass-roots fundraiser for Special Olympics, is changing the future for people with intellectual disabilities and lighting the way for acceptance and inclusion.
Energy Transfer will donate a total of $450,000 over a three-year period to further SOPA’s mission to broaden the opportunities for people with intellectual disabilities (ID). Energy Transfer is one of the largest and most diversified midstream energy companies in the county with more than 86,000 miles of oil, natural gas and refined fuels pipelines traversing 38 states. Both organizations share a similar focus on working to improve the quality of life and well-being for the community.
Known as Guardians of the Flame, law enforcement members and SOPA athletes carry the “Flame of Hope” into the Opening Ceremonies of local and state Games. The flame symbolizes courage and the celebration of diversity uniting communities around the globe. In 2018, more than $1.3 million was raised to support nearly 20,000 SOPA athletes via a multitude of LETR events and activities around the state that included Torch Runs, annual Polar Plunges, the Beaver Stadium Run and more. In Pennsylvania, there are more than 500 members of law enforcement and emergency responders engaged in LETR efforts.
“As Pennsylvania's Special Olympics programs continue to grow, more funding is needed to support the athletes and their families because there is no cost to participate,” said Matthew Aaron, SOPA President & CEO. “This is where the support of the law enforcement community becomes crucial. Law Enforcement Torch Run helps raise funds and create awareness for our athletes. Our partnership with Energy Transfer will not only assist our efforts from a financial perspective, but also fuel our movement through the time, energy and enthusiasm of Energy Transfer employee volunteers.”
Energy Transfer has also been named a Special Olympics Pennsylvania “Inclusion Revolution” Campaign Partner. As Special Olympics approaches its 50th anniversary in Pennsylvania, it is leading the revolution to engage, empower, and transform communities to ensure full inclusion for people with ID. Through this pursuit, the organization has embarked on a 5-year, $6.5M Major Gifts Campaign to build fully inclusive schools and communities, improve the overall health and access to care for people with ID, develop athlete leaders, provide better quality programs, and make cities more welcoming and accepting for people with ID.
“We are incredibly proud to support Special Olympics Pennsylvania and to participate in these athletic competitions,” said Chris Curia, Energy Transfer Executive Vice President. “This partnership signifies our ongoing commitment to both Pennsylvania and the organizations like Special Olympics that are making a difference in the lives of so many.”
This collaboration will not only benefit Special Olympics athletes, but the entire community in which Special Olympics Pennsylvania and Energy Transfer serves. Special Olympics provides a positive venue for families, volunteers, and donors to become part of a caring community, and to become involved in the movement.