Carry Torch to Support Special Olympics Athletes
Manhattan, Kan.- It is expected that 1,150 officers from over 97 agencies will carry the “Flame of Hope” throughout 52 counties in Kansas as they travel to the annual Special Olympics Summer Games held in Wichita. The Law Enforcement Torch Run (LETR) is a series of statewide runs which will travel approximately 1,276 miles throughout the state. Law Enforcement Officers, along with Dustin Gunter, member of Royal Valley Panthers Special Olympics in Hoyt, Most Inspirational Athlete of 2015, will light the cauldron to officially open the Summer Games in front of over 3,000 athletes, coaches and fans of Special Olympics Kansas on June 3rd.
Locally, the Torch Run will be Thursday, June 2nd and include the communities of Wamego to Manhattan to Ft.Riley and end at Junction City. The route and times starting on 0800 hours are:
- 08:00 Start Wamego Sports Complex. Torch is carried by Pottawatomie County Sheriff’s Department West on Highway 24 to CarQuest in Manhattan
- 10:30 CarQuest, 316 Tuttle Creek Blvd. Torch is passed to Riley County Police Department. Continue on Tuttle Creek Blvd to Leavenworth Street West on Leavenworth St to 4th Street South on 4th Street to Poyntz Ave West on Poyntz to 17th South on 17th to Ft. Riley Blvd Continue on Ft. Riley Blvd to Ogden and end at Ft. Riley Gate. Torch is passed to Ft. Riley Officers
- 12:00 Start Ogden Gate, Huebner Rd., Ft. Riley Hueber Rd turns into Grant Ave
- 13:30 Stop Grant Park in Junction City. Torch is passed to Junction City Officers
- 14:00 West on Grant Ave, cross over Washington St to Jefferson St. South on Jefferson St to 6th Street Stop at Heritage Park (6th & Jefferson) Junction City
Agencies involved, Pottawatomie County Sheriff’s Office, Wamego Police Department, Riley County Police Department, Fort Riley Directorate of Emergency Services (DES), Fort Riley Directorate of Plans, Training, Mobilization and Security (DPTMS), Fort Riley Garrison, 97th Military Police Battalion, 1st Infantry Division Provost Marshal Office, 10th Air Support Operations Squadron, Fort Riley Soldier and Family Assistance Center, Junction City Police Department, Geary County Sheriff’s Office and Kansas Highway Patrol.
Contacts: Pottawatomie Co: Stefanie Shaw 785.457.3353 firstname.lastname@example.org
Riley County: Jessie Erhlich 785.565.4163 email@example.com
Ft. Riley: 1LT Markus Fischbach 785.239.3884 firstname.lastname@example.org
Junction City: Lt. Matt Paquette 785.556.37759 email@example.com
The public is encouraged to step outside their business or home and encourage the officers as they run. Celebrating their 35th anniversary, the Law Enforcement Torch Run began in Wichita, Kansas in 1981 with six runners and has grown to an international program involving thousands of Law Enforcement personnel, raising millions of dollars annually to benefit Special Olympics programs in the United States and abroad.
The Torch Run is the largest grassroots fundraiser and public awareness vehicle for Special Olympics Kansas. Officers volunteer hundreds of hours each year and in 2015 raised $543,582.96 in support of Special Olympics Kansas programs. This remarkable feat was accomplished by holding events and fundraising through the torch run, special event fundraisers (i.e. Polar Plunge, Truck Convoy), sponsorships and donations.
Gary Steed, Executive Director of the Kansas Commission of Peace Officers’ Standard and Training, is the Honorary Chair of the LETR. Kalmar Industries and Amerigroup Foundation are Guardians of the Flame Sponsors. You can support the Torch Run by making a secure donation online at www.kansastorchrun.org or contact Luke Schulte at 620-408-4450.
5280 Foxridge Drive
Mission, KS 66202