First to Carry the Torch and Still Lighting the Way!
The Kansas Law Enforcement Torch Run is celebrating 35 years of lighting the way for Special Olympics Kansas athletes!
It started with ONE agency, SIX runners and $20,000 in Kansas, and now has 85,000 officers and has raised over $500 million dollars for Special Olympics in 43 countries. Law Enforcement Officers around the world serve as Guardians of the Flame ensuring that the Flame of Hope is delivered to the Special Olympics Opening Ceremonies for local, state, national and world games around the world.
The Law Enforcement Torch Run (LETR) is a world-wide grassroots movement that raises awareness and millions of dollars for Special Olympics athletes. It started in Kansas, in 1979, simply by asking a police chief to attend an event. Police Chief Richard LaMunyon observed that Special Olympics transcended all boundaries—race, economic, and social status and mirrored the daily interactions of law enforcement. LaMunyon saw the similarities as an ideal match for his department to support and the rest, as they say, is history.
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LETR in the News
Vice President of Development & LETR
Kansas State Director
Special Olympics Kansas Contacts
President & CEO
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Director of Development
Director of Development
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30th Anniversary Video
Thank you to our
Guardians of the Flame
At the December 2017 LETR Executive Council meeting, members voted in new coordinators, Athlete Ambassador and State Director for the 2018 year. This continues to build the strength of the movement across Kansas.
Christopher Moore, Pittsburg PD, will serve as the new State Director. His term runs from January 1, 2018 through December 31, 2020. “I’m very honored to serve as the State Director,” said Moore. “We will continue our growth in both revenue and agency involvement so each Special Olympics Kansas athlete across Kansas is able to be included in their hometowns.” Three new Regional Coordinators and four At-Large Coordinators were also elected. David Hunter, Special Olympics athlete from the Johnson County Parks and Recreation Local Program, will serve as the Athlete Ambassador. Read more here.
Thank You Josh!
Topeka/Shawnee Special Olympics athlete, Josh Alters, will end his term as athlete ambassador to the Kansas Law Enforcement Torch Run (LETR) for Special Olympics Kansas on December 31, 2017. Josh was the first athlete to hold this position. He has done a great job defining the role, encouraging all members of the LETR to push harder, and representing all Special Olympics Kansas athletes at various events.
The LETR Executive Council have enjoyed Josh’s smile and laugh at their quarterly meetings. He has also provided insight into what the athletes of Special Olympics Kansas want to see at their Opening Ceremonies and our signature Torch Runs. Lastly, let’s not forget the fun at the International Conference and the D-Backs game!
But luckily for Special Olympics Kansas, Josh isn’t one to sit idle. He has a new role within Special Olympics! He will serve as the Athlete Liaison to the Special Olympics Kansas Board of Directors. The Kansas LETR would like to congratulate Josh on his new role and wish him all the best!
Thank You Jeff!
Captain Jeff Bragg, Olathe Police Department, will end his term as the State Director of the Kansas Law Enforcement Torch Run (LETR) for Special Olympics Kansas on December 31, 2017. During his tenure, the Kansas LETR has seen tremendous growth, expanded into new regions, and renewed its passion for Special Olympics athletes.
Captain Bragg started with the LETR as the Olathe PD agency coordinator. He was then promoted to the Johnson County Coordinator, then the Area 18 Coordinator, then the Metro Region Coordinator and in 2015 was elected as State Director. Captain Bragg has served as Chair of the Flame of Hope Ride Committee, Chair of the Johnson County leg of the Truck Convoy, serves on the Polar Plunge Kansas City Committee. At LETR fundraisers, he can be seen bussing tables at Tip A Cops, jumping in ice cold water as a Polar Plunger, selling various Torch Run Merchandise, and leaping over balls at dodgeball tournaments. He dedication to Special Olympics athletes can be seen by his attendance at Global Messenger Graduations and as a Medal Presenter at numerous Special Olympics events across Kansas.
Upon starting his tenure as State Director of the Kansas LETR, Captain Bragg started a campaign to visit each region in Kansas to recruit and grow involvement in each part of the state. Because of this, when the LETR starts meeting in 2018, each region in Kansas will have a Regional Coordinator. This has not been accomplished for many years. The Kansas LETR has also steadily grown revenue during this time; recruiting new sponsors, new agencies and new fundraisers.
His dedication isn’t ending in 2017 once he steps down as State Director. Captain Bragg will still serve an active role on the Executive Council in the past State Director position. He will also continue to serve on various committees, participate in fundraising events, and give out high fives at Special Olympics Kansas events. Special Olympics Kansas would like to thank Jeff for his tenure and we look forward to working with him for many, many more years to come!
Want to Get Involved?
Besides running hundreds of miles through Kansas and awarding medals at Special Olympics competitions, officers participate in fundraisers throughout the year to benefit the organization. Click on the link to find your Regional Coordinator.
To Register your Agency today – download the registration form here
Become a Partner
The Torch Run is successful because of the generosity of Law Enforcement Agencies, businesses and individuals throughout Kansas. Kansas LETR has raised over $6 million for Special Olympics Kansas (SOKS). Download the LETR Sponsorship Brochure and learn how you can become involved.
Final Leg Runners with Most Inspirational Athlete Dustin Gunter at the 2016 Summer Games