BAR HARBOR — Officers Judson Cake and Tim Bland represented the Bar Harbor Police Department in the 35th annual Maine Law Enforcement Torch Run (LETR) for Special Olympics on June 7. The annual state-wide relay is a fundraiser and publicity event for Special Olympics Maine athletes.
A contingent of runners will left Town Hill accompanied by police and sheriff cruisers heading towards Ellsworth. The torch was carried from Ellsworth to Orono, where the Special Olympics began at the University of Maine June 8.
LETR began in 1981 when Wichita, Ks. 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.” With the IACP’s support, LETR became the movement’s largest public awareness and fundraising group for Special Olympics.
The 2019 Maine Law Enforcement Torch Run took place June 4-7 with more than 750 members of Maine Law Enforcement participating in the run across the state of Maine, acting as Guardians of the flame carrying the Flame of Hope to raise funds for and an awareness of Special Olympics Maine.
The Law Enforcement Torch Run is one of Maine’s largest fundraising events for Special Olympics and last year raised more than $400,000 for the Special Olympics that took place in Orono over the weekend. The funds are used to provide athletes with sports equipment and proper training, uniforms and housing and meals at events. Funds are also used for the rental of sports facilities, the training of coaches and officials, the operation of a summer camp, health screenings and a live band at the summer games, and more. Funds also support participation by Maine athletes in the National and World Games events.