Yesterday, I had the honor to light the torch in Washington, DC for the kick-off of the Unified Relay Across America. This flame was originally lit at the sacred site of the Pinyx on May 14th under the careful watch of Alex Kappis, a Final Leg Logistics Team member from Greece. Alex guarded the flame and maintained its’ integrity. The flame eventually made it way to the United States thanks to our great partners at UPS who flew the flame from Greece to Philadelphia. After the torch was lit in Washington, DC yesterday, the flame began its 46 day journey through all 50 U.S. states, raising funds for Special Olympics and creating untold awareness along the way. On July 10th, the Team Leaders of the Final Leg Team will accept the torch back from the Unified Relay Across America as we begin our mission of creating awareness for Special Olympics throughout the state of California and building excitement for the 2015 Special Olympics World Games in Los Angeles.
You will be in LA before you know it! The next 3,826,796 seconds are going to fly by and you will be landing at Los Angeles International Airport to begin your Final Leg mission!
At the airport you will be greeted by uniform members of the LAX police near your baggage claim area and will be directed to a rendezvous point where members of our Logistics Team will escort you on a ten minute fun filled ride to our arrival hotel, the Westin LAX. I will provide a little more detail on your arrival and transport to the hotel as we get a little closer.
I hope everyone has been keeping up with their e-mails as there have been quite a few time changes for the flights that our team members have been booked on. Every team member affected by any flight change received a direct e-mail from Garber FCM Travel detailing those changes.
There is a very exciting amenity that each team member will receive that I thought you should know about in advance in the event you were going to purchase these. Thanks to Team #2 Leader, Bill Proll, who has a high level contact with Oakley, each team member will be receiving a pair of Oakley sunglasses valued at $160!!!! Through Bill’s effort, Oakley has even personalized the sunglasses with the Final Leg logo! THANKS Bill!!!! You may want to buy Bill a refreshment (or two) when you see him!
We have had several changes on the Final Leg and due to an unforeseen circumstance, one team member, Jeff Miller from South Dakota, had to drop out and is unable to be replaced by his program. Two other members had to drop out and have been replaced, Jenny Dennis from New Mexico is being replaced by Ana Ortiz and Robin Mungo from Pennsylvania is being replaced by Christine McShea. Welcome aboard Ana and Christine!
Since we have some new additions to the team along with some minor modifications to ceremony sites, we have just published version II (the FINAL version) of the 2015 Los Angeles Final Leg Event Guide. This Guide is available for download through Dropbox at:
I hope that everyone has passed along the media template to your Special Olympics/Torch Run programs as well as your law enforcement agency to help create awareness for your participation in the 2015 Los Angeles Final Leg, awareness for Special Olympics and excitement for the World Games. I have seen a number of stories already about our team members and they are great! There was a great KABC story in Los Angeles about the Final Leg. Please check it out at:
So, the countdown is on and you should really be starting to think about what you are going to pack to bring with you. As I stated before, you should pack light!!! Everything you bring you, you will be carrying with you (except your law enforcement uniforms for Opening Ceremonies) along with the gear that you will receive. You will be receiving most of the clothes that you will be wearing for the duration of the event. If you need a reminder of what you should bring with you, please refer to my previous communications that can be found on our Final Leg website at www.letr-finalleg.org
VERY IMPORTANT If you wear a uniform, you are expected to bring your summer dress uniform with you for participation in Opening Ceremonies (including your hat). For those of you that don’t wear a uniform, you will be involved as well. We will store your uniforms securely upon your arrival and deliver them back to you prior to the Opening Ceremonies. NO guns or weapons of any kind including handcuffs are permitted. This applies to local California officers as well. If you wear a Sam Brown belt or other accoutrements on your uniform, remove your holster and handcuff case, ASP batons, Tasers, etc. from your belt.
OK, it’s time for a run! I’ll be back in three miles or 31 minutes and 30 seconds if anyone has any questions. That’s a 10 minute 30 second mile, an average pace for our Torch Runs in California….please be prepared!
The excitement is building!!!! We are now only 51 days away from the start of the Final Leg and our important mission to build excitement for the 2015 Los Angeles World Games and awareness for Special Olympics throughout the great state of California and around the world!
I hope that your programs have taken advantage of the boilerplate media release that we sent to you several weeks ago to begin building excitement and creating awareness in your own communities!
Yesterday, the Flame of Hope arrived in the United States after being lit on the sacred site of the Pnyx in Athens, Greece on May 14th. The Flame is now being entrusted to law enforcement officers who will be Route Leaders on the three routes of the historic Unified Relay Across America, traversing thousands of miles across the United States touching all 50 states and spreading awareness for Special Olympics in a manner never done before.
On July 10th, Team Leaders from the Final Leg will receive the Flame of Hope from the URAA in a ceremony in Los Angeles and the Final Leg Team will then be entrusted with maintaining the integrity of the Flame though our 14 day Final Leg event starting in Sacramento on July 13th and safely delivering it to the Opening Ceremonies of the 2015 Los Angeles World Games on July 25th.
Please take a minute to look at this great media piece from TV station KABC that aired yesterday…..this is GREAT!!!!