Law Enforcement Torch Run still going strong in 27th year

Matt Gardner
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Since its Prince Albert debut in 1988, the Law Enforcement Torch Run (LETR) has become an annual tradition for area law enforcement agencies.

In its 27 years of existence, the Prince Albert chapter of the LETR has raised more than $750,000 for the Special Olympics in Saskatchewan.

“That’s why we’ve been doing it for 27 years -- because it is a very important thing for enforcement people to be able to do something outside of enforcement,” retired conservation officer P.A. district chairperson Stephen Hug said as 2014 torch run participants assembled in front of City Hall on Wednesday morning.

“The Law Enforcement Torch Run is very well-known within Canada and the U.S., and we’re just proud to be involved with it,” he added.

Approximately 25 runners representing participating law enforcement agencies (but also including four local Special Olympians) took part in this year’s torch run.

Among those agencies are the Prince Albert Police Service, RCMP, Ministry of the Environment, the Highway Transport Patrol, provincial correctional centres, the Saskatchewan Penitentiary and Parks Canada.

“I’m not sure if anyone from Parks Canada’s here today,” Hug said. “But they’re a big supporter of the Law Enforcement Torch Run and do a lot of stuff in the springtime for fundraisers with us.”

Aside from the torch run itself, the local LETR chapter raises money at other events throughout the year including a charity golf tournament, wild game supper, a puck shoot at the P.A. Exhibition Centre and hotdog sales at local schools.

Const. Shawn Rowden of the Prince Albert Police Service noted that local police participate in all five events each year.

“I think it’s just a great cause,” Rowden said.

“We also play activities with the (Special Olympics) athletes throughout the year. We play floor hockey, there’s bowling, there’s golf and just to interact with them -- they have such a positive attitude and I strongly recommend, if you’re ever having a bad day, go and hang out with the athletes, because they’re so positive and fun to hang out with.”

Overall, for the whole year we’ve raised over $30,000 that’s going down to the Special Olympics Saskatchewan. Stephen Hug

The 2014 torch run followed the same route as previous years.

Starting from City Hall and moving down Central Avenue to River Street West, runners set out on a trajectory that took them to approximately a dozen area schools that were sites of the spring hotdog sales.

“We’re … starting off at Princess Margaret (Public School) and then doing all the schools on the east side, and then over to the west side this afternoon” Hug said as the run began.

Trailing behind the athletes for the duration of the run was a bus provided courtesy of the Prince Albert Northern Bus Lines company, a longtime supporter of the event.

“Every year … they donate their bus for us for the run … so we really appreciate that,” Hug said.

“Actually, over the year when we do special events with Special Olympians, we always rent vans from them,” he added.

“They are very, very great and help us out lots when it comes to raising the rates that we get. The rental rates are very, very reasonable for us with the athletes and that when we go down to bowling and floor hockey and so on and so forth across the province.”

Compared to previous years, the total funds raised this year for the Special Olympics fall roughly within the average for the local LETR chapter.

“For the hotdog sales we raised approximately $3,500,” Hug said. “But overall, for the whole year we’ve raised over $30,000 that’s going down to the Special Olympics Saskatchewan.

“So yeah -- another great year we’ve had, actually.”


Organizations: Prince Albert, Special Olympics Saskatchewan, Daily Herald

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