Congratulations Law Enforcement Torch Run on another successful Run Week!
By: Andrea Rachko, LETR Liaison & Development Manager
The Law Enforcement Torch Run® (LETR) Program for Special Olympics Michigan wrapped up yet another wonderful Run Week. This year our Central Route members traveled yet again the 750-miles from Copper Harbor to Sterling Heights. Through obstacles, like rain into the wee hours, the three teams continued to run and make sure they covered their miles. Also in 2012 there were many new members to our trail vehicles. Without their support and dedication the route could not happen.
Along the way the Central Route Teams had many highlights. The first memorable moment was for athlete Joe Kaczysnki from Area 30 (Midland County). Joe is a very avid runner and has run many events with our law enforcement officers. This year Joe received the honor of running the Mackinaw Bridge with select Central Route Runners. The second memorable moment was the Lansing Midnight Run. This year we had the 123rd Trooper Recruit School out running with the many law enforcement runners as well as the Lansing Community College Mid-Michigan Police Academy.
Not only were runners out completing the 750-miles for Central Route, but we had multiple Community Runs throughout the state that were visited by the Travel Team. The Travel Team was able to visit 17 of the runs that were taking place throughout the state. The runners were greeted by many local law enforcement and athletes from Special Olympics Michigan. The Community Runs have only continued to grow within Michigan creating even more awareness for the program as well as raising additional funds.
The goal of LETR is to keep growing our Community Runs and to have even more agencies and runners involved. There are so many memorable moments from the Community Runs, one that was a highlight of the 2012 year was our Midland Community Run. The Midland Community Run was put on by Deputy Chief Rodney Roten out of Midland Police Department. He had many of his SWAT Team Members out there running along with many of the local schools cross country teams. The Midland Run was supported not only by Deputy Chief Roten but also by Chief Block and the Mayor of Midland. The run wrapped up with a little twist and excitement by ending at Dow Diamond. All of the runners and our Special Olympics Michigan athletes had the opportunity to run into the stadium and around the bases.
Also this Run Week it was announced by Team Captain Officer Dave Allen (Fraternal Order of Police Team) that this was that teams last year running. These law enforcement officers have been involved for more than 5 years and have dedicated many hours to the program. The Torch Run Program and Special Olympics Michigan would like to thank them for all their hard work and dedication and wish them great things for their future.
We would also like the take the time to thank F/Lt. John Card for his continued commitment to the LETR Program and Central Route. This was John's last year being the Team Captain for the Michigan State Police Team but not his last year with Central Route or Torch Run. He has dedicated countless hours to Central Route and shown great support for the Community Runs. It's an honor to work with him and it will be wonderful to still see him along the route.
Thank you runners, athletes, volunteers and supporters of the Law Enforcement Torch Run® Program because of people like you it makes a difference in the lives of many.