Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics BC members have been lacing up to support SOBC athletes for more than 30 years.
Powered by dedicated law enforcement members from across the province, this inspiring movement strives to help Special Olympics BC athletes experience acceptance, achievement, and admiration through sport. Since it took its first steps in 1990, the BC LETR has raised more than $5 million to support SOBC’s life-changing programs for athletes with intellectual disabilities.
“Your hard work in raising funds and awareness gives athletes like me opportunities to live happier, healthier lives,” SOBC – Ridge Meadows athlete David Stevenson said in his speech at the Ridge Meadows RCMPs run /walk. Check out this Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows News article to read more.
Each year, BC LETR members come together in their communities to raise funds and awareness through run and walk events. They run shoulder to shoulder with SOBC athletes, carrying the Flame of Hope and spreading a message of respect and inclusion for people with intellectual disabilities.
Athletes and law enforcement members were able to run together again for the first time in two years. After two consecutive years of only virtual torch run events, participants were ready and willing to come together again in support of SOBC athletes and programs.
Cst. Lisa Bruschetta, a member of the Saanich Police Department, has been a longtime participant and organizer of
BC LETR events. She spoke to the Victoria News about her own connection to LETR and the athletes it supports.
“They’re just an amazing group of athletes and they pride themselves when it comes to having team spirit … being inclusive. They’re positive and they create so many amazing friendships.”
BC LETR members also make a big splash through the Polar Plunge for SOBC. Before the pandemic, brave Plungers came together in large groups and charged into icy waves at annual fundraising events in Vancouver, Victoria, and Revelstoke.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2021, and 2022 Polar Plunges took place virtually across the province, with law enforcement agencies getting cold and creative to complete their plunges.
In 2022, Plungers dove into freezing water, jumped into cold snow, braved icy showers, got blasted by water balloons, faced down fire hoses, and so much more. Taking place from March 5 to 20, the frigid and fun fundraiser was an absolute blast and raised $250,000 for SOBC.
The pandemic has been especially hard on people with intellectual disabilities. The support from law enforcement organizations across the province is especially important in helping SOBC athletes get back to the joy of sports and to their SOBC communities.
“I think everyone has felt disconnected the last few years, so for everyone to get back together and do this thing, jump in the river, it is a step to getting back to normal and creating that special community,” said SOBC – Trail volunteer and Plunger Chris Kuchar to the Trail Times.
Law enforcement members also raise funds and awareness through golf tournaments, overtime drives, athletic challenges, hockey games, and many other creative events and initiatives.
BC LETR members also show their respect and admiration for Special Olympics athletes by awarding medals and ribbons at competitions.
We are incredibly grateful to Law Enforcement Torch Run for SOBC members for how they consistently step up to make a difference for Special Olympics BC athletes!