City of Geneva
Special Olympics Illinois has presented Geneva Police Officer Chuck Parisi with the Flame of Hope Award for his 20 years of dedicated volunteer service to the organization.
The Flame of Hope Award is the highest honor of recognition given by Special Olympics Illinois and is presented annually to one individual and one police department in the state for their steadfast involvement in the Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics. The award is based on the nominee’s ingenuity, drive, commitment, and dedication to the Torch Run, which directly impacts the lives of about 40,000 athletes and children with and without intellectual disabilities.
Officer Parisi received the award Feb. 2 during the annual Illinois Torch Run for Special Olympics kickoff conference in Bloomington, Ill.
“I am extremely proud of Officer Parisi and all that he has done on behalf of Special Olympics,” Geneva Police Chief Eric Passarelli said. “He regularly motivates the members of our department to become actively involved in supporting this important cause. Through his efforts, the funds raised by our officers for Special Olympics Illinois continue to increase each year. His selfless service makes him an outstanding recipient of the Flame of Hope Award.”
After being hired by the City in 2005, Officer Parisi has championed the cause of Special Olympics by taking the lead in the Geneva Police Department’s community fundraising efforts.
Officer Parisi has won the Top Cop award six times for raising the most money in the region for the annual Polar Plunge. He partnered with neighboring law enforcement agencies to station Geneva Police officers at area Dunkin stores as part of the Cop on a Rooftop (before the company recently opened a location in Geneva).
Officer Parisi launched the Geneva Police Department’s Tip A Cop events at local restaurants, coordinated selling Harley Davidson raffle tickets at Swedish Days, and has continued the department’s Special Olympics fundraising pig roast in memory of former Officer Keith Koza, who passed away from cancer in 2009.
Officer Parisi’s dedication helped the Geneva Police Department raise a record $46,387 for Special Olympics Illinois in 2023, nearly three times higher than average.