THUNDER BAY - A fun run/walk around Chapples Park was held Sunday from 12 p.m. until 4 p.m. to celebrate the 35th-anniversary of Law Enforcement Torch Run (LETR), and was hosted by local LETR volunteers with some help from Boston Pizza.
"It's been going since 1987 and we haven't been able to do anything for two years," said Niaomi Fillier, police constable and LETR coordinator for Northwestern Ontario.
"So, this is the first run in two years and it's to kick off all of the athletes, to celebrate the athletes, and to get them all together for the run."
Local athlete Sadie, who plays soccer, says that it's good to have everyone back together and see everyone cheering on local athletes.
Roughly 100 residents came out to participate in the walk and, with a police escort around the park, each athlete had a chance to carry the torch.
"A lot of the families have even said that without special Olympics and Law Enforcement Torch Run, that they wouldn't be able to do any of this," said Fillier.
"They feel so supported, especially in our community here in Thunder Bay and Northwest Region, we really do a lot with our athletes, to try and get them out, show them support, we're all inclusive and that we love this."
The Law Enforcement Torch Run, which is supported by the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police, is the largest public awareness and grassroots fundraising organization for Special Olympics Globally and has been an active partner of the Special Olympics since 1987.
"We love to be a part of it to bring the athletes together," said Fillier. "It's something near and dear to my heart, I had an adopted sister who was special needs and I saw the struggles that she went through. So, to have an organization like this that police can support to help families, to give them an outlet and other supports, it's huge. We love it."
For more information on the Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics, visit the Special Olympics website!