Dirt Oval 66 Partners with Local Law Enforcement to Fundraise for Special Olympicsadmin
Hoping to hit the $1 Million mark and win title of 2nd largest fundraiser for Special Olympics in Illinois
JOLIET, IL –Officers, it’s time to start your engines! The most anticipated event at Dirt Oval 66 returns for its fourth year to raise money for an incredible cause. Five-0 at the Dirty O is a Law Enforcement Torch Run fundraiser benefiting Special Olympics Illinois. Active and retired law enforcement officers from across Illinois compete in the season’s largest Team Demolition Derby on Saturday, July 24. Since the inaugural event, Dirt Oval 66 has raised more than $1 million for the organization in the past four years, and the number keeps rising. The fundraising goal for this year’s event is $300,000.“Five-0 at the Dirty O has been one of our most successful events ,and it’s one everyone looks forward to every year,” says Sherri Heckenast, owner of Dirt Oval 66. “The officers participating are passionate about the cause, and they have a blast on the track.”
Team Demolition Derby is the main event for the evening, with teams competing to be the first to complete five laps. The Five-0 competition features a stockcar race in which law enforcement race vehicles decked out in their department’s patrol colors and decals. Officers from more than 30 different police departments in Illinois have signed up to participate with several new towns joining the competition for 2021.
This is an Illinois Law Enforcement Torch Run event, and participating officers’ efforts will benefit the more than 23,100 athletes from across the state. Each driver must raise a minimum of $500 in donations to participate with the pole (first) position going to the officer who raises the most. In a typical derby, a driver wins this position by speed or number of event wins to date. For the Five-0 event, it is all about money raised, making it a coveted position. All Pit Crew must associate with a driver by joining his or her fundraising team on Donor Drive. All funds raised by the Pit Crew will be counted towards the driver’s fundraising total.
“The Five-0 is one of the rare moments where these officers have a chance to blow off steam and enjoy the track,” says Sherri Heckenast. “We always wanted to host an event with police and firemen, and the Five-0 ended up being the perfect fit for a race to benefit Special Olympics. It’s become a team favorite.”
A Five-0 Safety Show will accompany the competition before the event to showcase all the participating Five-0 cars. Kids and adults will have a chance to check them out up close as well as meet the drivers. There will also be a “Touch-a-Truck” with public safety vehicles not participating in the competition. These two features tend to be kid-favorites as they get to meet some of their heroes while checking out impressive cars. Fans will also get a chance to join in the competition with eating contests throughout the night.
The opening ceremony will include a Five-0 Beauty Contest with a crowd vote determining the winner. William Beagle, Dirty O’s very own Chaplain, will say an opening prayer, and the National Anthem will be performed thanks to Special Olympics Illinois athlete, Troy Butler
Guests will have a chance to donate to Special Olympics Illinois throughout the evening by participating in the 50/50 raffle and other activities. The Five-0 competition is at the end of the evening before the final Team Demolition Derby round. Before the officers are off to race, a check with the amount of money raised is presented to the Special Olympics Illinois team.
“We love the ‘Five-0’ because it gives us an opportunity to go out and race cars while doing what we do best, connect with the community to raise awareness,” says Sergeant Bill Devine of the Tinley Park PD, and Law Enforcement Torch Run Director. “This money helps keep all the amazing programs at Special Olympics running and race fans are some of the most charitable families out there. It really is spectacular.”
Athletes from Special Olympics Illinois will be on-site for the Five-0 event representing the organization participating in everything from regular event activities to the opening ceremony. Athletes will accompany Junior Flaggers to raise the first green flag, and guests will have a chance to hear a few stories about how the Special Olympics changed the lives of these athletes.
“Our catchphrase for the year is ‘Now More Than Ever.’ As a father of an athlete, that statement has never been more important,” says Sergeant Devine. “Our athletes need us, and they need our support to understand that everything is going to be ok and better than ever.”
Tickets for the Five-0 have historically been sold out so purchasing tickets in advance is highly encouraged. Tickets for Five-0 at the Dirty-O are $13 for kids and $20 for adults in advance. Tickets on the day of are $18 for kids and $24 for adults. Gates open at 3 pm for tailgating with a pre-event party at 4 pm, and showtime at 7 pm. Tickets can be purchased at https://www.dirtoval66.com/events/team-demolition-derby-5/.
About Dirt Oval 66
Focusing on outdoor family entertainment, Dirt Oval 66, located at Route 66 Raceway, produces adrenaline-packed live events such as motorsports, demolition derbies, Monster Truck rallies, car shows, music, and rodeos. As a purpose-driven company, Dirt Oval 66 focuses on giving back to its community, helping those in need, and honoring those who have served by tying events to fundraising for a cause. Dirt Oval 66 (aka the Dirty-O) is well known for its ULTIMATE fan experience. Every event is unique and may include driver meet-and-greets, pre-event tailgating, overnight camping accommodations, kid-friendly outdoor activities, various high-quality food vendors, fireworks shows, and opportunities for audience participation. Book your tickets now for a seat at the track. The 2021 event schedule and tickets are available at DirtOval66.com. Dirt Oval 66 is located at 500 Speedway Boulevard, Joliet, IL 60433. The track hotline is 815.740.8000.
About Special Olympics Illinois
Special Olympics Illinois is a not-for-profit sports organization offering year-round training and competition in 18 sports for more than 23,100 athletes with intellectual disabilities and over 13,000 Young Athletes ages 2-7 with and without intellectual disabilities. It strives to be a global leader in shaping a culture where people with and without intellectual disabilities are fully integrated into the community by providing year round opportunities in competitive sports, health education, leadership and personal development. If you are interested in being a part of Special Olympics Illinois and its vision, contact your local region, call 800-394-0562 or visit our website at www.soill.org. Follow Special Olympics Illinois on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
About Illinois Law Enforcement Torch Run
The Law Enforcement Torch Run® is the single largest year-round fundraising vehicle benefiting Special Olympics Illinois. The annual intrastate relay and its various fundraising projects have two goals: to raise money and to gain awareness for the athletes who participate in Special Olympics Illinois. The Law Enforcement Torch Run® has raised more than $56 million over 34 years while increasing awareness of Special Olympics Illinois athletes and their accomplishments.