RUTLAND & BRISTOL, Vt.-Irving Oil is bringing back its biggest U.S. fundraiser in honor of some very special athletes. Irving's Fueling Dreams fundraiser began in 1999 to benefit the Law Enforcement Torch Run, the largest fundraiser worldwide for the Special Olympics. Since then the event has grown across New England, including 17 Irving Oil locations in Vermont this year.
Law enforcement officers have designated May 22 as their annual To Serve and Protect Day, and many local police and fire chiefs will be participating.
As part of the day's activities, enforcement officers will work alongside Irving employees and Special Olympics' athletes and coaches to pump gas, wash windows and greet customers.
The event will take place from 10 a.m-2 p.m. at the following Irving gas stations and store locations in the Addison Eagle and Rutland Tribune circulation area:
Maplefields at Bristol
42 West St.
86 Woodstock Ave.
"To Serve and Protect Day offers athletes of Special Olympics Vermont a unique opportunity to interact with community members and local law enforcement and public safety officials, while raising funds for their local programs," said William Porreca CEO/president of Special Olympics Vermont. "Through the generosity of Irving Oil and To Serve and Protect Day, our athletes receive the resources they need to help purchase uniforms, fund training opportunities and facilities and participate in competitions at the local, state, national and international levels."
Irving Oil started its Fueling Dreams program 11 years ago and since its inception has raised more than $2 million. According to Irving spokesperson Liza Dube, the partnership with the Special Olympics organizations improves every year. This year, nearly 100 new sites are participating throughout New England, including those in Vermont.
"We have an opportunity to work alongside so many talented and special athletes whose enthusiasm and excitement is so rewarding," said Dube. "Each year the event attracts more and more people who want to do their part in helping thousands of athletes achieve their dreams."
Irving invites the public to join in on all the fun and festivities on May 22 when all funds raised by volunteers at participating Irving locations will be donated to Special Olympics. Special icons can also be purchased May 17th through June 6th for $1, with proceeds going directly to Special Olympics Vermont. In addition, Irving Oil will also make a direct donation.