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Law Enforcement Torch Run

About the Law Enforcement Torch Run (LETR)

The Law Enforcement Torch Run® (LETR) for Special Olympics is a volunteer movement that was established by members of the law enforcement community to support Special Olympics and is the largest grass-roots fundraiser and public awareness vehicle for Special Olympics. At its most basic level, the LETR is an actual running event, in which officers and athletes run the Flame of Hope™ to the Opening Ceremonies of local Special Olympics competitions and State and National Games. Annually, more than 85,000 dedicated, compassionate and volunteer law enforcement officers participate in the LETR throughout 35 nations, 12 Canadian provinces and 50 US states, raising more than $50 million for local Special Olympics programs. Since its inception in 1981 more than $500 million has been raised.

The man behind the first Torch Run in 1981 was Wichita, Kansas Police Chief Richard LaMunyon. He conceived the Torch Run as a way to involve local law enforcement personnel in the community and to support Special Olympics. The Torch Run was quickly adopted by the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) now recognized as the founding law enforcement organization for the Law Enforcement Torch Run® for Special Olympics.

In 1986, compassion, joy and hope ignited a movement among law enforcement in Wisconsin to spread awareness of individuals with intellectual disabilities. That eternal flame burns with even more vigor today. In Wisconsin, year-round events include our Final Leg Run, which kicks off the State Summer Games each June; our fourteen statewide Polar Plunge® winter fundraisers; Tip-A-Cop® events; Cop on a Rooftop events; motorcycle rides; raffles; Over the Edge events; the World’s Largest Truck Convoy®; and other miscellaneous fundraising events.

By volunteering together for Special Olympics, law enforcement participants champion acceptance and inclusion in their communities. They raise up Special Olympics athletes, helping influence them to be treated as equals. Law enforcement volunteers educate the community about the gifts, talents and abilities of people with intellectual disabilities and create opportunities to bring the community together.

What started as a flicker in 1981 has grown into a roaring flame of support and stability for Special Olympics athletes worldwide. The Law Enforcement Torch Run transforms communities by inspiring people to open their minds, to accept and include people with intellectual disabilities, celebrating differences among all people … recognizing and respecting the similarities we all share. For athletes and officers alike, the Law Enforcement Torch Run® for Special Olympics is a story of success, love, respect and commitment between law enforcement officers and Special Olympics athletes.


The mission of the Law Enforcement Torch Run® for Special Olympics Wisconsin is to raise funds for and awareness of the Special Olympics movement. Special Olympics is a program which reaffirms our beliefs that with hope and dedication, we can see achievement and self-worth realized by any individual. It is our belief that persons with intellectual disabilities, by their involvement in Special Olympics, show the community at large there are no limits to human potential or the human spirit.

Legacy of Hope

For nearly 30 years, you have tirelessly carried the Flame of Hope™ to show the world your support of people with intellectual disabilities. Now help us keep the torch burning for the next generation of Special Olympics athletes. Consider including us in your estate plan and leave a legacy of acceptance, inclusion and empowerment for years to come. Click here to learn more.

Special Olympics Athlete Application for LETR Council

If you are a registered Special Olympics Wisconsin athlete and would like to serve on Wisconsin's LETR State Council, apply today! The term limit for an Athlete on the LETR State Council is one-three year term. This term will begin at the March/April 2015 LETR State Council meeting and end at the March/April meeting in 2018. Special Olympics Wisconsin values athlete leadership at all levels of the organization. We strongly recommend that athletes take other committee responsibilities into consideration prior to applying. 2015 Application forms must be returned to Julie Drake by January 9, 2015.

Special Olympics Wisconsin Law Enforcement Torch Run® Volunteer of the Year Award

The Special Olympics Wisconsin Law Enforcement (LETR) Volunteer of the Year Award was created to recognize outstanding officers who have committed herself or himself to the mission of Special Olympics Wisconsin as evidenced by the officer’s participation and leadership in LETR or Special Olympics events. The nominee’s involvement must demonstrate a sustained and significant contribution to the achievement of the mission of Special Olympics and MUST BE a WPPA Member. Areas of consideration include outstanding achievement in program development, organization, fundraising success and volunteerism.

2015 Nomination forms must be returned to Julie Drake by March 1, 2015.

Wisconsin Law Enforcement Torch Run Dale Brunner Hall of Fame Award

In 1999, Special Olympics Wisconsin created the Law Enforcement Torch Run Dale Brunner Hall of Fame award, named after Wisconsin’s first LETR Director who passed away on August 12, 2014 after a courageous battle with brain cancer. Dale was instrumental in starting the LETR in Wisconsin and served as the Director from 1986 through 1999. The award was created to recognize Wisconsin’s outstanding individuals who have significantly contributed to the statewide success of the LETR. It is an honor bestowed upon those participants who have gone above and beyond the normal call of duty in their efforts to enhance the LETR in its support of the mission of Special Olympics Wisconsin. 2015 Nomination forms must be returned to Julie Drake by Friday, April 17, 2015.

World's Largest Truck Convoy

Convoy Fact Sheet

World’s Largest Truck Convoy® raises more than $122,000!

On September 20, truckers and law enforcement officials raised a record-shattering $122,000 for Special Olympics Wisconsin at the 10th Annual World’s Largest Truck Convoy® presented by Quad/Graphics and EH Wolf & Sons.

Law enforcement officials escorted 165 trucks along the 53 mile route up US Highway 41 from the Pioneer Travel Plaza in Richfield to the EAA Grounds in Oshkosh. The event celebrated truckers support of Special Olympics athletes and marked the end of National Truck Driver Appreciation Week.

Tyler Derringer, Special Olympics athlete and LETR athlete representative, kicked off the event in Richfield and introduced emcee Caitlin Morrall, traffic reporter from TMJ4. The Wisconsin State Patrol Honor Guard presented our colors and athlete P.J. Lynch of Milwaukee sang the National Anthem.

PJ and fellow athlete, Jerry Halboth of Williams Bay, served as Convoy Marshals and rode shotgun alongside the truckers up to the EAA Grounds. Tom Howells, who retired this year after 35 years of service to the Wisconsin Motor Carriers Association, was recognized as an Honorary Convoy Marshal.

Families cheered from frontage roads and overpasses along the route as trucks paraded past them, one by one.

The day wrapped up with a celebration party complete with live music from singer/songwriter Rob Anthony, a program emceed by former WBAY anchor, Jerry Burke, and awards, raffles, an auction and tailgate party.

Over the past 10 years, Wisconsin’s Convoy has raised more than $821,000 with a total of 1,240 trucks! Special Olympics programs across America host similar events to celebrate truckers. The event takes place in 13 states and four Canadian provinces in partnership with the Law Enforcement Torch Run®, a volunteer movement established by members of the law enforcement community to raise funds and build awareness of Special Olympics.

The event would not have been possible without the support of presenting partners Quad/Graphics and E.H. Wolf & Sons; founding partners, the Wisconsin Motor Carriers Association and the Waupun Truck-N-Show; and Convoy hosts, the Pioneer Travel Plaza and the EAA; in addition to all of our partners! Thank you!

Mark your calendars now for Saturday, September 19, 2015! To view photos from this year’s event, click here.

Congratulations to our Raffle and Contest Winners!

  • Grand Prize of a new 2012 John Deere Gator Utility Vehicle donated by E.H. Wolf & Sons, Inc: Jeff Porath of Neenah, WI
  • 2nd Prize - $500 cash: Scott Deutscher of Elk Mound, WI
  • 3rd Prize - $350 cash: Clark Kromenaker of Menasha, WI
  • 1st Place Lead Truck: Jerry & Kay Kissinger, Corner Store, Cottage Grove, WI
  • 2nd Place Lead Truck: Laufer Trucking, Hartford, WI
  • 3rd Place Lead Truck: Blue Leasing, West Bend, WI
  • 4th Place Lead Truck: Lee & Karol Maas, Con-way Freight, Oshkosh, WI
  • 5th Place Lead Truck: Blue Leasing, West Bend, WI
  • Ride Along with Caitlin Morrall: Blue Leasing, West Bend, WI
  • Truck that traveled the farthest distance from out of state: Ted Poelking, T & B Poelking Logistics, Saint Cloud, Florida
  • Truck that traveled the farthest distance from within the state: Pat Arnette & Charlie Bathke, Walmart Transportation, Menomonie, WI
  • Most pledges raised: $10,740 was raised by Ron & Nita Mathiesen, Badger Utility, Friendship, WI
  • Officer’s Choice Award: Ron & Nita Mathiesen, Badger Utility, Friendship, Wi
  • Best of Show 3rd Place, voted by Special Olympics Athletes: Jim Guyette, River Valley Express, Colby, WI
  • Best of Show 2nd Place, voted by Special Olympics Athletes: Mike Hardgrove, Whealon Towing, Fond du Lac, WI
  • Best of Show 1st Place, voted by Special Olympics Athletes: Robert Dercks, R & L Carriers, Kaukauna, WI

Over the Edge

Go Over the Edge for Special Olympics

Boldly go where few have gone before. Grab a “buddy” or go solo while rappelling down the side of Lambeau Field and/or Miller Park, while supporting Special Olympics!

To get started, secure your spot by registering today, and start raising funds. You will create a fundraising page where friends and family can live vicariously through you with their donations.

You need only to fundraise a $1,000 to experience this thrilling event. Or, do a “Buddy Rappel” by simply raising a combined $1,500 with a friend, and the two of you can rappel side-by-side. Lastly, you can enjoy the ultimate fan experience by raising $1,500 to rappel down both Miller Park and Lambeau Field!

Once you sign up, we’ll give you plenty of tips and tricks for raising the funds like asking 50 friends to donate $20. It will be a piece of cake, we promise.

On rappel day, you’ll practice and train with professionals from Over the Edge. For the duration of the rappel, you’ll get all the technical assistance you’ll need for a safe and rewarding experience. The only requirement is that you must be at least 18 years old on the day of the event and weigh between 110 and 300 pounds.

The money you raise will support the athletes of Special Olympics Wisconsin. We provide year-round sports training and athletic competition in a variety of Olympic-type sports for children and adults with intellectual disabilities in approximately 200 communities across Wisconsin.

There are only a limited number of spots available, so don’t delay. Claim yours today!



Capers provide planned community events that raise funds for Special Olympics Wisconsin-Greater Milwaukee Region while enhancing the spirit of volunteerism and fellowship.

What is Capers?

Capers is a partnership of companies that meet year-round to plan, implement, and compete in a series of sporting events. Member companies each field teams of 20-100 employees, family members and friends to participate. Special Olympic athletes serve as Honorary Head Coaches and compete along side the corporate participants. Competition among the Capers companies is both fierce and friendly. Top finishers in each event receive medals, and the corporation accumulating the most points at the end of all Capers events receives an impressive traveling trophy at the Capers Day Closing Ceremony which includes a video presentation of the Capers highlights. Capers are unusual because it is planned, organized, and implemented by representatives from each Capers Company who meet monthly as a Steering Committee from September to May. Additional company representatives serve on event sub-committees and helping in the planning and recruitment within their individual companies for each event.

2015 Events

CAPERS BOWLING - Register Online
Saturday, April 11, 2015
AMF West Lanes – Milwaukee, WI

May 2015
Brookfield Indoor Soccer Complex – Brookfield, WI

CAPERS GOLF OPEN - Register Online
Tuesday, May 12, 2015
Geneva National Golf Club – Lake Geneva, WI

***Special Room Rate***
Rate for Geneva Ridge Resort – $99 Click on “Stay” to view the rooms available. Rooms can be booked by calling (262) 245-7000. Be sure to mention Special Olympics at time of booking.
***Coming in early? Golf Monday too!***
$68 for Capers golfers that golf the day before the outing. Call Geneva National at (262) 245-7000 to make your tee time.

May 2015
Lafollette Park – 9418 W. Washington St, Milwaukee, WI 53214

- The largest of the multiple Capers events is the signature event, at which corporate teams compete in a variety of athletic and non-athletic events including Softball, Bocce Ball, Croquet, and Bingo, among others. Points are awarded in each event. A traveling trophy is presented during Closing Ceremony to the company accumulating the most points.

What companies are involved?

American Family Insurance, Eaton Corporation, Wells Fargo, and We Energies.

What are the benefits to the participating companies?

Goodwill and company spirit are generated through friendly competition as well as sense of accomplishment in setting and exceeding goals. Each company benefits from the partnership with Special Olympics, rated the nation's #1 most credible charity. It's a tremendous opportunity to enhance corporate image, strengthen camaraderie among employees, promote volunteerism, and celebrate corporate and community values.

Who benefits?

Special Olympics Wisconsin-Greater Milwaukee Region – serving Milwaukee, Ozaukee, Waukesha and Washington Counties - has been the designated beneficiary of funds raised by Capers since 1985. Since 1985 Capers has raised over 1.8 million dollars for Special Olympics. Special Olympics Wisconsin is a statewide organization providing persons with cognitive disabilities year-round sports training and competition. Special Olympics Wisconsin-Greater Milwaukee Area serves over 2,200 athletes. Capers is the largest single source of revenue for the Special Olympics in the Greater Milwaukee Area. Funds are raised through multiple sources - member company's sponsor fees ($700), event auctions, t-shirt sales, event participation fees and pledges, concessions and golf outing fees.

April 2015
View List of Events
  Sports   Training School
  Fundraising   Athlete Wellness
  Project Unify   Young Athletes
  More than
one event
# Volunteers Needed!
DEAR EDITOR: What Project UNIFY has taught us
2015-03-04 13:51:10 - By: Bari Bates
A letter to the editor of the Mt. Horeb Mail, from Olivia Jones and Grace Rollins. Olivia and Grace are members of the Youth Activation Council and have played a vital role in statewide efforts of inclusion.
Meet Athlete Coach Peter!
2015-02-19 15:07:13 - By: Bari Bates
For the past four years, Peter Annis has stepped into a different role in Special Olympics Wisconsin—he serves as an athlete coach for Shepherds Warhawks basketball team, guiding his team on the court with hands-on drills and teaching them basic techniques.
Windwalkers Celebrates 10 Years!
2015-02-12 11:17:35 - By: Bari Bates
Special Olympics Wisconsin has been working to provide additional access to education and resources for individuals with intellectual disabilities (ID) related to health and wellness activities at a local level through Healthy Communities Mini Projects. Providing access to additional opportunities is nothing new to agency manager, Kathy Gerharz of the Sheboygan Adult Program.
Local Athlete to Participate at X Games in Aspen
2015-01-05 14:45:29 - By: Christina Harris
As one of only 10 Special Olympics athletes, Wisconsin’s own Daina Shilts, 24, was chosen to participate in Special Olympics Unified Snowboarding Races as part of this year’s X Games in Aspen, Colorado on Thursday, January 22 from 3:00 – 4:00 p.m. CST.
MedFest 2014 a great success for athletes, students and volunteers alike
2014-12-17 17:31:24 - By: Bari Bates
On December 6, during Special Olympics Wisconsin’s Northern Fall Sports Tournament, 46 athletes received a free sports physical as part of the fourth annual MedFest event. Volunteer physicians, nurses, physician assistants, and medical students led this free health screening. The screening consists of the following stations: medical history, height and weight, blood pressure, cardiology test, musculoskeletal test, orthopedic tests, abdominal evaluation, and a check-out station.
Featured Family-The Dohertys
2014-12-16 10:35:55 - By: Christina Harris
As children of a former professional soccer player, Ava, Bailey and Cole Doherty are natural athletes. Bailey, 5, was born with Down syndrome and loves to climb, run and jump. That's just her personality. She plays with her older sister Ava, 7, and younger brother Cole, 2, regularly.
Meet Coach Dean Glaze
2014-11-24 14:15:05 - By: Christina Harris
Dean Glaze, a college student at the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh, volunteered at a Special Olympics tournament as part of an adaptive physical education class in 1979. What began as a class requirement became a passion. Today, he’s a special needs teacher in Neillsville who has travelled across the globe to coach athletes in national and international Special Olympics competitions.
November is National Diabetes Month
2014-11-04 12:47:18 - By: Christina Harris
Diabetes is an ever-growing health concern that affects nearly 30 million children and adults in the U.S. alone. Individuals with intellectual disabilities are at a higher risk for preventable diseases because they often do not receive the healthcare they need, which can be linked to high body mass index, high blood pressure and low activity rates—all contributing factors to the development of Type 2 diabetes. Take simple steps to help lower everyone's risk of diabetes & improve everyday health.
Meet Wisconsin's World Games Delegates
2014-11-04 11:25:07 - By: Christina Harris
Watch out Los Angeles! A few new stars are coming to town. Three Wisconsin athletes, three coaches, two staff members and one Law Enforcement Torch Run® (LETR) Final Leg runner will take center stage when they represent Team USA at the 2015 Special Olympics World Games from July 25-August 2, 2015. Meet your Team USA representatives!
Project UNIFY is for YOU!
2014-11-03 16:22:24 - By: Christina Harris
If you thought you missed your chance to learn more about Project UNIFY at one of the three Leadership Forums, you are in luck, because we recorded one of them!
There's an APP for that!
2014-11-03 16:22:16 - By: Christina Harris
Special Olympics Wisconsin's Healthy Communities is leading the way in providing access to meaningful, relevant health resources and education for athletes and coaches. The use of mobile devices is a revolutionary new platform to share valuable disability and health information. Generally apps may cost a couple of dollars to purchase, however there are also a number of handy free apps available.
World's Largest Truck Convoy raises more than $122,000!
2014-11-03 16:22:09 - By: Christina Harris
On September 20, truckers and law enforcement officials raised a record-shattering $122,000 for Special Olympics Wisconsin at the 10th Annual World’s Largest Truck Convoy® presented by Quad/Graphics and EH Wolf & Sons.
Featured Athlete-Jodi Zimmerman
2014-11-03 11:26:41 - By: Christina Harris
Knocking down pins is Jodi Zimmerman’s idea of a good time. Every Saturday, she polishes her purple bowling ball, ties up her white bowling shoes, rubs her lucky 300 pin for good luck and heads to the alley.
Buy an Icon, Teach Athletes Employability Skills
2014-11-03 11:09:30 - By: Christina Harris
It may just look like a piece of paper, but when you buy an icon at your local Kwik Trip store from November 7 to 20, you are transforming the life of a Special Olympics athlete. Buying an icon not only helps future athletes enjoy gift of sport, it can teach them employability skills needed to join the workforce. Two Kwik Trip employees witnessed these benefits first-hand.
High School Senior Builds Life-Long Friendships through Club Unify
2014-10-30 10:43:44 - By: Maddie Hamburg, Mt. Horeb High School Senior
Club Unify got off to a strong start this school year with students gathering after school to plan for the homecoming parade. We played get-to-know-you games for our new club members, shared snacks and brainstormed ideas about our part of the parade. Our big goal was to stand out to the community so together, we decided to tie-dye T-shirts and wear them in the parade. The week before homecoming, we held another meeting after school and had a tie-dye party. It was a blast!

Contact Us

Special Olympics Wisconsin
2310 Crossroads Drive, Suite 1000
Madison, WI 53718

Send Us a Message
Phone: (608) 222-1324
Toll Free: (800) 552-1324

Created by the Joseph P. Kennedy Jr. Foundation for the benefit of persons with intellectual disabilities