DENVER -- When we think of the Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics Colorado, we typically think of images of police officers and deputies running down the 16th Street Mall carrying the torch before state games.
But the Law Enforcement Torch Run (LETR) effort is actually much more than that.
“The LETR, as we call it, is the largest grassroots fundraising effort for special Olympics,” Aurora Police Sgt. Cassidee Carlson told Denver7. “It’s now an international effort, so we raise the most money for Special Olympics so the over 21,000 athletes here in Colorado can participate in all sports programs for free.”
That’s not just money from the Torch Run, but also the Plane Pull and the Tip-A-Cop program. But Sgt. Carlson says what really motivates the officers is not the fundraising, but the one-on-one interaction with the athletes.
“We will go to the summer games, we will go to the local games and events,” she said. “We cheer them on and support them and place the medals around their necks at the end of their events or whatnot and that’s such a cool feeling.”
The money raised benefits athletes like Colton Rice, who plays with Colorado Rapids Unified Soccer team. He just got back from the all-star game in Chicago, and is thankful officers like Cassidee Carlson raise money that helps him and other athletes accel at their favorite sports for free.
“It takes practice, hard work and effort,” he said.
Special Olympics Colorado supports 21,000 athletes in Colorado with a team of 10,000 volunteers. You can learn more about their programs and how you can take part at the SpecialOlympicsCO.org .