From Staff Reports and the Apopka Police Department
Apopka kept the Flame of Hope burning bright for another year.
The Law Enforcement Torch Run is a campaign to benefit the Special Olympics. It's the largest grassroots fundraising movement for the Special Olympics. It's also the largest law enforcement-focused charitable organization in the world.
The City of Apopka and the Apopka Police Department hosted the 2022 Special Olympics Torch Run yesterday at Edwards Field in Apopka.
Officers and deputies from the Apopka Police Department, Orange County Sheriff’s Office, Winter Park Police Department, Edgewood Police Department, Ocoee Police Department, Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE), University of Central Florida Police Department, Federal Probation, Orange County Corrections Department, Winter Springs Police Department, and our awesome Police volunteers from the Apopka Citizens Police Academy Alumni Association, participated in the Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics Florida (LETR).
They wanted to show their continued support for this worthy cause. The participants ran a predetermined path that was 3.2 miles long. They passed the Special Olympics torch and flag in the hope to raise awareness along their journey.
LETR began in 1981, when Wichita, Kansas Police Chief, Richard LaMunyon created the Torch Run. He thought the Torch Run would help Law Enforcement be active in the community and support Special Olympics Kansas. In 1983, Chief LaMunyon presented the program to the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP). They decided to endorse Torch Run and became the “Founding Law Enforcement Organization.”
Every year, the Flame of Hope travels through Florida in an intrastate relay of simultaneous routes throughout the state. More than 3,000 officers and hundreds of Special Olympics Florida athletes carry the torch on the 1,500-mile relay through all 67 counties in Florida.
The Special Olympics is a global movement that serves more than five million athletes in 169 countries. The organization empowers athletes to improve physical fitness, build confidence and find new friendships, all while having fun and learning life lessons.
Known as Guardians of the Flame, Law Enforcement members and Special Olympics athletes carry the “Flame of Hope” into Opening Ceremonies of local competitions. They also carry it into Special Olympics State, Provincial, National, Regional, and World Games. There are over 97,000 Law Enforcement members that carry the “Flame of Hope” annually. The flame symbolizes courage and celebration of diversity uniting communities around the globe.
The Torch Run has grown over the years and now includes many fundraising platforms including Plane Pulls, Polar Plunges, Tip-A-Cop, and more. Since the beginning, LETR has raised over $600 million for Special Olympics programs.
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