Finish Line Joins Unified Relay Across America

by | Jul 7, 2015 | Press Room

sara

This post originally appeared on Sara McInerney’s blog. Thanks to Sara for allowing us to share her story. You can find the original post here.

A week ago, Finish Line had the opportunity to participate in the Special Olympics Unified Relay Across America (URAA). We carried the Flame of Hope on its way to Los Angeles for the World Games through 11 legs in Indianapolis. From sales associates to store operations to the CEO, Finish Line is on board to support Special Olympics.

URAA 1

Team Finish Line, CEO and President

When I was asked to participate, we still had room on our team so I immediately thought of my cousins Tim and Brianne and their kiddos, Patrick and Caitlin, who will hopefully be future athletes. Nick, the Special Olympics athlete on our leg, was really shy meeting our team but when Patrick and Caitlin arrived, he went over to the stroller and said hello no problem. Here he is “shaking” their hands. He held their hands for a few seconds each as his way of saying, “hello!”

URAA2

Nick eventually warmed up and took a great picture with our entire group! Together, we raised twice of our original goal of $1,500 for a total of $3,665. The total raised by all Finish Line teams was more than $20,000!

URAA3

Each leg was a half mile long and we were escorted by LA Police. No joke – Los Angeles police cars, SUVs and motorcycles drove all the way out to Maine at the beginning of the summer to escort the three legs across the country back to LA. Just seeing the LAPD logo gave me chills. People believe in the power of Special Olympics enough to drive across the country and back… incredible.

URAA4

Updated map of the URAA as of June 18, 2015.

During our leg, each team member got a chance to carry the torch. Nick joined me during my torch hold which made it that much more special. I am glad I was joined by him rather than being alone at the beginning of our pack. Nick seemed to love the experience and would sprint ahead when he got really excited!

URAA6

After my leg, a few of us went downtown to watch the torch come in for the night. The torch was nearly an hour late, but it was well worth the wait. When the final leg came around the corner, they were walking. But once they saw the huge crowd waiting for them, they jogged to the finish line while Avril Lavigne’s “Fly” was blaring. Avril is an avid Special Olympics supporter and wrote this song specifically for Special Olympics athletes. Take one listen and you’ll understand why I broke out in tears once they came around the corner and lit the final flame.

URAA7

Special Olympics Indiana CEO Mike Furnish and athlete Mary.

Along with a new job (I’m now the Finish Line Youth Foundation Development Coordinator), I also get to travel to LA in July to attend the World Games! I’m still shocked I get to go. It will be a once in a lifetime opportunity I am really looking forward to.

Upcoming Events

Feb
23
Sat
8:30 am West Lafayette – Purdue Universi... @ Purdue University
West Lafayette – Purdue Universi... @ Purdue University
Feb 23 @ 8:30 am
West Lafayette - Purdue University Polar Plunge #PurduePlunge @ Purdue University | West Lafayette | Indiana | United States
Registration: 8:30 – 10:00 a.m. Lambert Fieldhouse Plunge: 10:30 a.m. Mackey Arena After Splash Bash: Lambert Fieldhouse   Register Online   The West Lafayette – Purdue University Polar Plunge is part of the Campus Challenge. The Campus Challenge Award[...]
9:00 am Greenwood Polar Plunge #Greenwoo... @ Dye's Walk Country Club
Greenwood Polar Plunge #Greenwoo... @ Dye's Walk Country Club
Feb 23 @ 9:00 am
Greenwood Polar Plunge #GreenwoodPlunge @ Dye's Walk Country Club
Registration: 9:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m. Dye’s Walk Country Club Clubhouse Plunge: 10:30 a.m. Dye’s Walk Lawn After Splash Bash: Dye’s Walk Clubhouse Register Online How to Join the Fun:   To participate, each individual must raise at[...]
10:00 am Petersburg Polar Plunge #Petersb... @ Prides Creek Park
Petersburg Polar Plunge #Petersb... @ Prides Creek Park
Feb 23 @ 10:00 am
Petersburg Polar Plunge #PetersburgPlunge @ Prides Creek Park | Petersburg | Indiana | United States
Registration: 10:00 – 11:30 a.m. Prides Creek Park Beach Plunge: 12:00 p.m. Prides Creek Park Lake After Splash Bash: Gospel Center Activities Building Register Online     How to Join the Fun:   To participate,[...]

Subscribe to Our Newletter