For the past 5 years I have participated in the Law Enforcment Torch Run (LETR) for Special Olympics of Northern California (SONC). The run is at the end of June to kick off the Special Olympics Summer Games.
The LETR first started in 1981 by a Police Chief in Kansas. LETR has become the movement’s largest public awareness and fundraising group for Special Olympics. LETR is changing the future for people with intellectual disabilities. Through law enforcement and Special Olympics partnership we are lighting the way for acceptance and inclusion for everyone.
Law enforcement runners and Special Olympics athletes are known as Guardians of the Flame, carry the “Flame of Hope” into Opening Ceremonies of local competitions. In Northern California the “Flame of Hope” arrives at its final destination and site for the summer games, University of California, Davis.
Currently there are over 97,000 law enforcement members that carry the “Flame of Hope” every year. The flame symbolizes courage and celebration of diversity uniting communities around the globe. That’s right Special Olympics is International! The next Special Olympics World Games set for 14-21 March 2019 in Abu Dhabi.
The LETR for Special Olympics engages law enforcement worldwide championing acceptance and inclusion for people with intellectual disabilities, starting first with their own communities. Over the years the Torch Run has evolved and now encompasses a variety of innovative fundraising including Polar Plunges, Tip-A-Cops, and more. LETR has raised more than half a billion dollars for Special Olympics.
I have a special place in my heart for all the athletes. I’ve had the privilege to spend time getting to know some of them. To say they are amazing would be an understatement. Every single one of them have enriched my life and there smiles and enthusiasm for life is infectious. It has been and will continue through be my pleasure to be a part of LETR and SONC.
You can support Special Olympics by donating online. Or any law enforcement charity event such as Tip-A-Cop, Polar Plunge, or other events (you will likely meet athletes). All of the money that is donated goes directly to Special Olympics. No athlete pays any money to be a part of Special Olympics. They focus on their sporting events and we focus on fundraising.