Several members of our office recently participated in the Special Olympics Torch Run. The Torch Run program began in 1981, when Wichita, Kansas Chief of Police Richard Lamunyon saw an urgent need to raise funds and increase awareness for Special Olympics. The idea of the Law Enforcement Torch Run program was to provide local law enforcement officers with opportunities to volunteer with Special Olympics in communities where the officers lived and worked.
In 1984, the International Association of Chiefs of Police endorsed Special Olympics as official charity through the Torch Run Program. With the IACP’s enthusiastic support and leadership, the Torch Run soon involved all facets of the law enforcement community. Today all 50 states and more than 35 countries have Torch Run programs. The Torch Run is Special Olympics' largest grass-roots fundraiser. Law Enforcement and athletes,
The Law Enforcement Torch Run (LETR) is Special Olympics’ largest grass-roots fundraiser and public awareness vehicle. Law enforcement (the Guardians of the Flame) and athletes, run the Special Olympics “Flame of Hope” to events and competitions throughout the state to symbolize unity and inclusiveness.
Also Known as Guardians of the Flame, law enforcement members and Special Olympics athletes carry the “Flame of Hope” into Opening Ceremonies of local competitions. They also carry it into Special Olympics State, Provincial, National, Regional and World Games. There are over 97,000 law enforcement members that carry the “Flame of Hope” annually.
The Torch Run has grown over the years and now includes many fundraising platforms. These platforms include: Plane Pulls, Polar Plunges, Tip-A-Cops and more. Since the beginning, LETR has raised over $600 million for Special Olympics programs. To learn more about LETR, visit www.letr.org