More Than A Flame—It's A Beacon of Hope
The mission of The Law Enforcement Torch Run® for Special Olympics (LETR) is to increase awareness and raise funds for Special Olympics. Each year the LETR gets bigger and better.
Since its inception in 1981, the LETR has grown powerfully raising over $415 million for Special Olympics. The LETR can be found in 46 countries with more than 85,000 volunteers.
The Law Enforcement Torch Run® for Special Olympics (LETR) began in 1981 when Wichita, Kansas (USA), Police Chief Richard LaMunyon saw an urgent need to increase awareness of Special Olympics. He also saw it as an ideal way to get local law enforcement personnel involved in within the Special Olympics community. The LETR was quickly adopted by the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP), now recognized as the founding law enforcement organization for the LETR. Thirty-two years later, that flicker has become a roaring flame of stability for Special Olympics athletes worldwide.
At its most basic level, the LETR is a running event in which officers and athletes carry the Flame of Hope to the Opening Ceremony of local Special Olympics competitions, state/provincial Games, and National Summer or Winter Games. In addition, every two years, law enforcement officers from around the world gather to carry the Flame of Hope in a Law Enforcement Torch Run ® Final Leg in honor of the Special Olympics World Summer or World Winter Games.
At its most fully developed, the LETR initiative encompasses a variety of fundraising vehicles. LETR fund-raising includes T-shirt and merchandise sales, donations and pledges for runners who participate in The LETR , corporate partnerships and special events such as Polar Plunge®, Tip-A-Cop ®, World’s Largest Truck Convoy ®, Cops on Top®, golf tournaments and other events that have local appeal.