Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics Ohio
2022 SUMMER GAMES ARE BACK!
The following is a guest post from our friend, Columbus Division of Police K-9 Officer David Jones. We're excited to be able to bring you this news about this news and hope that you'll consider signing up or making a donation in support of Special Olympics:
I have been involved with the Law Enforcement Torch Run (LETR) for Special Olympics for 25 years and took over the Columbus area coordinating several years ago for retired Sergeant Jeff Henry. I’d like to pass on some information about the LETR and this year’s event.
Law Enforcement from Ohio raises over $500,000 yearly to assist Special Olympics. This year’s Torch Run will be on Friday, June 24, 2022. Running legs from all over Ohio will meet at the Ohio State Highway Patrol Academy at 6pm to run the final leg over to Jesse Owens Track and Field, where all the Special Olympics Athletes will be gathered to light the torch to start the summer games.
The Hilliard Leg of the Torch Run will be on Tuesday, June 21 starting at 11am. The run will start at Hilliard City Hall (3800 Municipal Way) and will end at the Hilliard Police Department, 5171 Northwest Parkway.
The Law Enforcement Torch Run is a campaign to benefit the Special Olympics. It began in 1981 in Wichita, Kansas, and is the largest grass-roots fundraising movement for the Special Olympics.
LETR is run by police officers, sheriff's deputies, correction officers, support staff, police volunteers, and other law enforcement professionals from around the world. Close to 97,000 police professionals in over 45 countries participate in this worldwide effort to raise money and awareness for Special Olympics. Participants in the LETR help spread the word about the benefits of Special Olympics and how the program helps define the brave participants of these programs as athletes, and not by their disabilities. Since its inception in 1981, LETR has raised $619,187,626.
Similar in many ways to the Olympic Torch Relay, the LETR consists of scheduled relay events, usually held in conjunction and coordination with Special Olympics functions (like the Special Olympics Summer and Winter Games). While carrying the flame, officers and athletes are referred to as "Guardians of the Flame." In the broader sense, the LETR defines all of the special events and fundraising activities that law enforcement conducts to contribute to this campaign. This includes, but is not limited to, tip-a-cop events, car washes, Polar Plunges, roof sits, motorcycle runs, online fundraising, t-shirt and hat sales, media events, and more.
Every two years, the Special Olympics World Games are held. This brings about a special torch run called the Final Leg Run, during which law enforcement, together with Special Olympic athletes, run the Flame of Hope throughout the host country for the games, spreading awareness for Special Olympics. This culminates with the lighting of the cauldron for the Flame of Hope at the opening ceremonies for the Special Olympics World Games.
Every year, members of the LETR converge at the International LETR conference to exchange ideas and network about Special Olympics awareness and fundraising techniques.
Please consider joining the Columbus Police Team and making a donation to help support the Law Enforcement Torch Run and the Special Olympians with the 2022 Ohio Summer Games.
One more photo of K-9 Ayko, simply because we love him.