WHATCOM COUNTY, Wash. — Members of several law enforcement agencies will be running and biking across Washington State as they participate in the annual Law Enforcement Torch Run (LETR) carrying a torch used to ignite the “Flame of Hope” that watches over the Washington Special Olympics. The route will bring participants and their supporters through Whatcom County this morning, June 15th.
Each year, the torch begins a 150-mile trip to Pacific Lutheran University from the Peace Arch Park at the US-Canada border.
Torch carriers from multiple local law enforcement agencies are expected to pass through Blaine, Custer, Ferndale and Bellingham.
People are encouraged to come out and cheer on the torch carriers.
According to Special Olympics Washington, nearly 2,000 law enforcement personnel are involved in Washington State LETR efforts, and their efforts raise over half a million dollars annually for local programs. Fundraising programs include Plane Pulls, Polar Plunges, Tip-A-Cop and more according to the Special Olympics website.
Organizers say since its beginning in 1981, LETR has raised over several hundred million dollars for Special Olympics programs.
The statewide Special Olympics LETR follows 3 separate routes. The 1 through Whatcom County begins at the Canadian border, another begins at the Idaho border and a third begins on the Olympic Peninsula. The 3 torches come together and are used to light a single torch that is then carried by a Special Olympics athlete into the opening ceremony Friday evening, June 17th, at Pacific Lutheran University in Tacoma where it is used to ignite a cauldron that will remain lit during the 2022 Washington State Special Olympics Spring Games. The Games run from June 17th through the 19th.
The 2022 State Spring Games will take place at Pacific Lutheran University, King County Aquatics Center and JBLM. Over 1,800 athletes from throughout the state will compete in swimming, athletics, powerlifting, soccer and cycling competitions.