Annual State Torch Run to Arlington Kicks Off May 2 at Texas State Capitol

Rep. Yvonne Davis and the Austin Police Department will host law enforcement units from across the state for a brief ceremony and torch run through Austin.


AUSTIN — State Representative Yvonne Davis (Dallas) will host several law enforcement units from around the state on the South Steps of the Texas State Capitol on Tuesday, May 2 for a short ceremony to kick off the annual statewide torch run to Arlington for the upcoming Special Olympics Texas (SOTX) Summer Games. The ceremony will commence at 1:00 p.m. and will be followed by the officers running the Flame of Hope through downtown Austin.


Davis will light the torch and send runners down Congress Ave., led by the Austin Police Department. Officers will carry the lit torch and run side-by-side with SOTX athletes and supporters. The torch relay will take the runners down Congress Ave. to 6th St. and back.

Expected to speak during the ceremony will be Rep. Davis, SOTX President & CEO Margaret Larsen, SOTX board chairman Chad Tywater, SOTX athlete and Global Messenger Morgan Collins, Austin Interim Police Chief Brian Manley, Grand Prairie Police Chief Steve Dye, Dallas Assistant Chief Gary Tittle and Highland Valley Chief of Police Doug Reim.

Joining these officers and their departments in the torch run will be members of the Georgetown, Round Rock, Thorndale, Corpus Christi, San Antonio Police Departments, Travis County Sheriff’s Office, Frio County’ Sheriff’s Office, Travis County Constable Precinct 5, Texas Department of Public Safety, Office of the Attorney General of Texas and San Antonio Drug Enforcement Administration.

All speakers and participating law enforcement agencies are subject to change or cancel attendance without notice.

The officers and units involved with this event are members of the Law Enforcement Torch Run (LETR), which is SOTX’s largest grass-roots fundraiser and public awareness vehicle. Through a variety of fundraising efforts such as t-shirt sales, Tip A Cop, Polar Plunge, Fire Truck Pull and Cops on Top, Texas LETR raised over $1.4 million in 2016 to fund programming, competition and training for more than 58,300 SOTX athletes across the state.

After Tuesday’s event, the Flame of Hope will continue to move across the state, before ultimately making its way to UT-Arlington on May 26 in time for the 48th annual statewide Summer Games.

Summer Games is the largest competition put on each year by SOTX. The multi-sport statewide competition will be held for nearly 3,000 children and adults with intellectual disabilities from May 25-28.

For more information about the torch run at the Capitol, contact Doug Ray ( at 214.943.9981.

Program Agenda

1:00 p.m. – SOTX President & CEO Margaret Larsen opens the program

1:30 p.m. – Representative Yvonne Davis lights torch and sends officers off on their run down Congress Ave.,  led by Austin Police Department

1:55 p.m. –- Photo Opportunity at Capitol Gates

2:00 p.m. –  Event Concludes

Steve Helm – Public Relations Coordinator, Special Olympics Texas
800.876.5646, ext. 2925 (office); 267.421.3911 (cell – media only);

About Special Olympics Texas
Special Olympics Texas (SOTX) is a privately funded non-profit organization that changes lives through the power of sport by encouraging and empowering people with intellectual disabilities, promoting acceptance for all, and fostering communities of understanding and respect.  SOTX provides continuing opportunities for more than 58,800 children and adults with intellectual disabilities throughout the Lone Star State to realize their potential, develop physical fitness, demonstrate courage and experience joy and friendship.  To learn more, visit or call 800.876.5646.  Engage with us on: Twitter @SOTexas;;