K of C Flag Relay 

                               Updated  November 28, 2015                             

Knights of Columbus Flag Relay

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What is the Knights of Columbus Flag Relay?

The Ontario Knights of Columbus have seen a need to raise awareness of and funds for Special Olympics. The idea of the Flag Relay is a way to involve local members of the Knights of Columbus and Squires with their communities and Special Olympics, by participating in the Flag Relay during the year, in various cities and towns throughout the province, that then converge at the Special Olympics Provincial Games.

 Our goal is to make the Knights of Columbus Flag Relay for Special Olympics one of the movement's major grass-roots fundraisers and public awareness vehicles. Support for this program can be through the Tootsie Roll campaign, “Adopt-An-Athlete” sponsorships, local fundraising events, corporate sponsorships and Flag Relay merchandise sales to fellow Knights, families, friends and the public.
When did the Knights of Columbus Flag Relay begin?

The concept of the Flag Relay began in July 2010 at the National Games in London. During the
Opening Ceremonies it was observed that the Law Enforcement Community had the Special
 Olympics Torch as a vehicle by which they were able to demonstrate their support for the Special Olympics movement and for the athletes competing in the Games. The Torch Run is an integral part
of their commitment to Special Olympics throughout the year and serves as the umbrella under
which all their involvement with Special Olympics falls under . This program culminates with the
Final Leg, where the police run in with the Torch, as part of the Opening Ceremonies, and officially
start the Special Olympics Games by lighting the cauldron. The Torch Run is conducted by law enforcement agencies in Ontario, across Canada and around the world as it is their symbol of
support for Special Olympics, which is recognized as the “Charity of Choice” for the
International Association of Chiefs of Police.

It was observed during the Opening Ceremonies that the arrival of the Special Olympics flag did
not have the same impact as the arrival of the Special Olympics torch and thus the idea of doing
something similar to bringing in the torch, via the Torch Run, could be utilized in bringing the Special Olympics flag to the Games.  

After the National Games, it was discussed with Special Olympics Ontario that something
similar to the Torch Run might be considered for the Knights of Columbus. As an organization that
 has been actively involved with Special Olympics from the very beginning ( the first Games in
Chicago on July 20, 1968) it might be worth looking into having something that the Knights could
use as a vehicle to show their support for the Special Olympics movement. As the Torch and the Special Olympics flag are the only common elements at all Games, Special Olympics Ontario
liked the idea of the Knights using the flag and gave their approval and support of the concept
and thus at that time, in the spring of 2011, the idea of the Flag Relay became a reality. Currently,
Ontario is the only jurisdiction where Special Olympics has given the Knights the opportunity to use the Special Olympics flag as the vehicle by which to conduct their Special Olympics programs.

The Flag Relay was first introduced at the 2011 Special Olympics Provincial Floor Hockey Championships in Sudbury  (July 9-11) and has been part of the Opening Ceremonies of all
Provincial Championships and Games since then.

How is the Knights of Columbus Flag Relay Organized?

The Flag Relay is a year round fund-raising and public awareness program that culminates with the Final Leg at the Special Olympics Provincial Games. There are various ways that you can be involved in the Flag Relay. Here in Ontario, the Knights of Columbus Flag Relay activities are organized province wide. Any diocesan association, district or council can work with the Special Olympics Ontario representative to coordinate many different activities.

Interested in participating in this year's program? Contact your Regional Coordinator today or email us at


Passing the flag from one District to the next during
the K of C Flag Relay leading up to the Special Olympics Summer Games


"More Than Just a Relay"

The Knights of Columbus Flag Relay is "more than just a relay." The Knights of Columbus Flag Relay serves as an umbrella to various fundraising and public awareness activities.

Flag Raising at the Town Hall to kick-off the
K of C Flag Relay week of events for Special Olympics

·                    ·      Flag Relay: The Relay Itself, takes place in the days leading up to Special Olympics
Provincial Games
and occurs over a two week time period. The Flag Relay has several
        starting points which are changeable as the Flag Relay grows. All Knights and Squires
        who are involved in the Flag Relay are invited to attend the Provincial Games associated
        with the relay.

·                   ·     Tootsie Roll Drive: This fundraiser provides the Knights an opportunity to invite the
       public to make donations in exchange for Tootsie Rolls. All proceeds will go to benefit
       Special Olympics Ontario’s athletes and year-round, province wide sports programs.

·                   ·    Adopt-An-Athlete Sponsor: For a minimum donation of $100 a company or individual
       can adopt one of the Special Olympians from their community. This money helps the
       Special Olympian to cover the costs for attending the Provincial Games.

·                   ·    Adopt-A-Knight Sponsor: For a minimum donation a company or individual can adopt
       one of our Flag Bearers for the Relay. This money helps the Flag Relay and Special
       Olympics raise money for awareness.

·                   ·    Hometown Games: Funds raised for these local competitions provide athletes the
       opportunity to compete in their own community. The Flag Relay will bring the Special
       Olympics flag to help kick-off the event. For additional information

·                   ·    Merchandise Sales: T-shirt and merchandise sales are a great way to include large
       numbers of Knights and Squires in an easy project. Merchandise can be sold to neighbors,
       family, friends or co-workers. Additionally, merchandise can be sold at other Flag Relay
       events, in retail outlets or at other locations.

·                   ·    Pledges for Running: People wishing to participate without running can do so by pledging
       dollars to our K of C Flag Relay leading up to the Provincial Games.

·                   ·    Sponsorship: 2016 Sponsorship benefit packages coming soon.

              For more details about Flag Relay Special Events CLICK HERE.


Flag Relay brings flags to Special Olympics
Hometown Games Tournament


To find additional information about our K of C Flag Relay Forms & Resources CLICK HERE.

Groups are not limited to the above activities; they can be as creative as they want in organizing activities to raise funds. If you are a new group, you should start with Merchandise Sales and Tootsie Rolls. Those activities are the easiest to start.



Flag Relay brings flags to K of C Blue Jays Day
for Special Olympic




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    Send comments or questions to the web page editor Joe Mathews at joe.mathews@bell.net