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Special Olympians Matt Poste, left, Owen Both and Kyle Weatherhead, right,
with their fans and supporters at the OSDSS track Wednesday, June 14.


The Olympic spirit burned bright in Grey Bruce last week as the Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics Ontario kicked off the annual fundraising drive that underwrites local and provincial programs and Games for more than 26,000 dedicated athletes.

Torch run events Wednesday, June 14, in Saugeen Shores, Hanover, West Grey, and then Owen Sound, involving the communities and their local police forces, culminated in a run from OSPS headquarters on 2nd Avenue West up the 9th Street hill to Owen Sound District Secondary School and a BBQ lunch for all participants – after a lap around the school's track.

The Owen Sound event was shepherded by OSPS community services officer Jason Cranny, continuing more than three decades of the force's service to local Special Olympics atheletes.

For more information, Owen Sound Special Olympics has a Facebook page, as well as its website here.


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Torch carrier Matt Poste and flag bearer Owen Both turn off 10th Street West
for the final stretch of the Torch Run at OSDSS, the last of the day's events.


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Special Olympic athletes, their families and supporters, joined the Run for the final block.
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One lap around the OSDSS track is all that separates these athletes from
a bit of a rest and a BBQ lunch grilled up by the local police departments.
LETR OSDSS 15Jun23 finalLap


LETR OSDSS 15Jun23 MattPoste

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LETR OSDSS 15Jun23 LeanIn

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LETR OSDSS 15Jun23 crowd

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OSPS mascot Buster was a popular guest during the run.
LETR OSDSS 15Jun23 Buster group
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LETR OSDSS 15Jun23 group field

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OSPS Inspector David Bishop coordinates the group photo with a two-thumbs-up salute.

About the Law Enforcement Torch Run, from online sources:

It all began in 1981 when a handful of police officers out of Kansas, under the leadership of their chief, LETR founder Richard LaMunyon, carried a Special Olympics torch into a Wichita high school, sparking a partnership between local law enforcement agencies and Special Olympics atheletes and organizations.

The LETR for Special Olympics engages law enforcement nationally and worldwide championing acceptance and inclusion for people with intellectual disabilities, starting first with their own communities.

Over the years the Torch Run has evolved and now encompasses a variety of innovative fundraising platforms including Polar Plunges, Tip-A-Cops, NHL Alumni Games, Torch Rides, Endurance Series and more.

Since its inception, the LETR has raised more than $46,000,000 and changed millions of attitudes.

All funds raised through Ontario Law Enforcement Torch Run events are directed into program support that directly affects all community Special Olympics Ontario (SOO) programs.

Funds are then put into community programs and help pay for various expenses including games travel, accommodations, meals, staff support to the field, grants to new community programs, volunteer and athlete training, administration and promotional materials, and development initiatives like school programs which opens up opportunities to new athletes.

It's important to have one provincial fundraiser that helps SOO create an equitable playing field. At SOO, small programs, large programs, big cities and small communities are treated with the same level of importance. The development of Special Olympics Ontario is directly related to the success of the Torch Run.

Law enforcement agencies in Ontario have proudly hosted 21 Special Olympics Ontario Provincial Games dating back to 1996, the only Torch Run program in the world to have accomplished such a feat.

The bond between law enforcement and Special Olympics is unparalleled as proven by this tremendous annual support of time, resources and effort from our law enforcement brothers, and the hope that Ontario Law Enforcement Torch Run Events become the fundraising arm of Special Olympics Ontario, thus allowing staff and volunteers to focus primarily on the athletes.


– by Hub staff
David Galway


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