Feature Story                                                                                                       Sunday, June 9, 2013                      

Benevolent Blues

Law Enforcement officers and support staff carry the torch for BC's Special Olympians

Released by Megan Grittani-Linvingston, Special Olympics BC/Voice photos


Dozens of officers and staff arrive at the Pacific Regional Training Centre after running from Sardis Secondary in support of the Special Olympics. Below, Mayor Sharon Getz wearing yellow Special O colours, takes part in the walk portion.


n June 4, law enforcement personnel from more than 30 communities around the province carried a message of respect and dignity as they lace up in support of Special Olympics athletes for the 2013 BC Law Enforcement Torch Run (BC LETR).


The 2013 Torch Run in B.C. was expected to involve hundreds of law enforcement personnel from a range of agencies taking part in fun runs and festivities alongside Special Olympics athletes, raising vital funds and awareness for Special Olympics BC.


Last yearís run saw more than 750 law enforcement members hitting the streets to show their support for the inspiring Special Olympics athletes in their communities and champion the Special Olympics movement.


Approximately 400 RCMP members laced up for the 2013 Torch Run, joining members of a range of agencies including municipal police departments, the Transit Police Service, the Justice Institute of British Columbia, and the Canada Border Services Agency.

Since 1990, the BC LETR has been a vital movement raising funds and awareness for SOBC athletes and programs. Throughout the year, LETR members around the province lead a variety of events supporting SOBC, raising more than $114,000 in 2012 and more than $3 million to date. The Torch Run is the highlight on the calendar.

This year, law enforcement personnel laced up in support of Special Olympics in communities ranging from White Rock to Terrace, from Nanaimo to Cranbrook, and throughout the Lower Mainland. At the end of each run, participants will join SOBC athletes and community members for fun festivities celebrating the long-standing spirit of mutual respect and support between athletes and law enforcement.

"Special Olympics athletes deserve to be recognized and celebrated as the inspiring and valued community members that they are. Their sportsmanship, dedication, and achievements set an example for us all. RCMP members are proud to run in support of Special Olympics, and Iím proud to see our members come out in droves to champion such a worthy cause," said Norm Lipinski, Assistant Commissioner, RCMP E Division, and member of the BC LETR Executive Council.

In the Lower Mainland, the Torch Run is a four-day affair linking communities from Abbotsford to Delta, with some runners taking part in the entire 80 kilometres and many local law enforcement members lacing up to run in their respective communities. Community supporters are encouraged to come out to cheer on the local leg:

More Torch Run details: www.specialolympics.bc.ca/letr 


About the Law Enforcement Torch Run (LETR)

The Law Enforcement Torch Run was started in 1981 in Wichita, Kansas, by Police Chief Richard LaMunyon. Chief LaMunyon saw an urgent need to raise funds for and increase awareness of Special Olympics. He proposed the idea of police officers running in support of Special Olympics athletes, while raising financial contributions from fellow police officers, private individuals, and the business community. From this modest beginning, the Law Enforcement Torch Run has developed into an inspiring international movement, with Torch Runs being held in more than 30 countries, including Canada. In 2012, the LETR worldwide raised $43 million for Special Olympics.

Since 1990, the LETR in BC has raised more than $3 million to support Special Olympics athletes and programs, helping SOBC grow to involve 4,100 athletes in 55 communities around B.C.

About Special Olympics BC

Special Olympics BC is dedicated to providing individuals with intellectual disabilities opportunities to enrich their lives and celebrate personal achievement through positive sport experiences. In 55 communities around the province, we provide year-round training and competitive opportunities in 18 different sports to more than 4,100 athletes of all ages and abilities, thanks to the dedicated efforts of over 3,200 volunteers.


For more information, please visit www.specialolympics.bc.ca


Find us on Facebook and Twitter: www.facebook.com/specialolympicsbc  / @sobcsociety.



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