LETR—a History

The Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics began in 1981 when Wichita Kansas Police Chief Richard La Munyon created the first torch run. It has since grown into a global movement.

LETR is a public awareness vehicle and “grass-roots” fundraiser for Special Olympics. Known as “Guardians of the Flame”, law enforcement members and Special Olympics athletes carry the “Flame of Hope” into the Opening Ceremony of local, State, National and World Games. Annually more than 110,000 dedicated law enforcement members carry the “Flame of Hope”.

Disturbingly, 79% of females and 72% of males with a disability do not participate insufficient physical activity (ABS, 2008). The Human Rights Commission says people with a disability face significant barriers to inclusion and participation in society. Special Olympics is working to address these barriers.

The “Flame of Hope” symbolizes courage and the celebration of diversity uniting communities around the globe

The goal of LETR is to champion acceptance and inclusion for people with intellectual disabilities.

Since its inception LETR has raised more than half a billion dollars to support special Olympics and there are currently 132 LETR Programs in 40 countries. Since its formation in 2008, the Victorian LETR program has raised more than $424,000 for Special Olympics Victoria.

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