Law Enforcement Torch Run (LETR)
The Law Enforcement Torch Run (LETR) began in 1981 when Wichita, Kansas (USA), Police Chief Richard LaMunyon saw an urgent need to raise funds for and increase awareness of Special Olympics. A handful of officers raised a few hundred dollars to help send local athletes to the State Games. Chief LaMunyon pushed his idea forward within the law enforcement community resulting in the Law Enforcement Torch Run being adopted by the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP).
The LETR has grown from those early days into the largest, grassroots fundraising entity for Special Olympics. In 2009, there were over 85,000 law enforcement personnel involved in the LETR who raised in excess of $34 million dollars! There are LETR programs in all 10 Canadian Provinces and 3 Territories as well as all 50 US States and 35 other countries.
The Manitoba LETR program has been in existence for over 20 years. Membership in the LETR open to any agency with peace officer status and in Manitoba, this includes all major accredited federal, provincial and municipal police agencies, Provincial and Federal Corrections, as well as other federal and provincial enforcement agencies. The Manitoba LETR has raised in excess of $2 million for Special Olympics. All monies raised in Manitoba stay here in support of Manitobans with an intellectual disability who benefit through participation in sports under Special Olympics programs and activities.
While the Torch Run remains the flagship event for the LETR there are numerous other fundraising and awareness events throughout the year in support of Special Olympics. These include the World’s Largest Truck Convoy for Special Olympics®, golf tournaments, Polar Plunges®, law enforcement balls, poker tournaments and merchandise sales.