Torch Run Sparks Special Olympics

By Kevin Masterman, Toronto Police Service Published: 4:15 p.m. June 3, 2016
Updated: 2:59 p.m. June 6, 2016

Hundreds of Service members pounded the pavement to ensure that Special Olympians have a chance to compete.

A woman holding a torch followed by a large group of people
Torch Run walkers follow the leaders on Bay St. (Photo Frank Ma)

The Toronto Law Enforcement Torch Run (LETR) looped around the downtown core, June 3, after an energetic warm-up at police headquarters.

“Today is about fun. Whenever you can utilize sports to promote inclusion, that is a good day in the city,” Chief Mark Saunders said.  

The Senior Officers Organization gave $500, the Toronto Police Association and Toronto Police Amateur Athletic Association each gave $5,000 and the Toronto Police Services Board (TPSB) donated $10,000, which was matched by the Bank of Montreal.

“The Special Olympics is a an exceptional and unique program founded on the belief that people with intellectual challenges can learn, enjoy and be empowered by participation in team sports,” TPSB member Councillor Chin Lee said. “I’m proud of all the Service members who put so much time and energy and passion into making this day an incredible success.”

The Law Enforcement Torch Run drew out hundreds of supporters to police headquarters June 3

Last year, Toronto was the top fundraiser with a $104,000 contribution. The Torch Run came to Canada in 1987, when Toronto Constable Lorne White organized the first event. In Ontario, $26 million has been raised since the inception of the run.

The Law Enforcement Torch Run is the most important fundraiser for Special Olympics, raising $50 million in 2014 worldwide.

A group of people
Special Olympians form up before the run
A group of people running
Runners make their way down Yonge St. following the torch
A group of people holding an oversized cheque
Staff Superintendent Kathryn Martin, Sportsnet's Evanka Osmak, Chief Mark Saunders and Councillor Chin Lee show off the $10,000 Toronto Police Services Board donation
TPS crest watermark