A Look at LETR in Missouri

The vision of the LETR was brought to life by Col. Ralph Biele of the Missouri State Highway Patrol.  He and the MO Police Chiefs' Association decided to rally all law enforcement to hold a fundraiser for Special Olympics - and the rest is sort of history.  What began in 1986 as a 30-mile run is now a four-day relay covering more than 950 miles with 1,000 runners. It originates in more than 40 locations and culminates at the site of the State Summer Games. But, it's more than a run; the Torch Run is a campaign to raise awareness and funds for Special Olympics. The mission of the LETR is to raise both dollars and awareness for Special Olympics. Nearly 200 agencies and 6,400 officers work year-round in Missouri to accomplish this goal; they are some of our greatest volunteers. Col. Biele once said, "A lot of people get involved with Special Olympics because they feel they need to give something back.  I have found that I have gained and learned more from these Special Olympics athletes than I could ever give or teach them."  In 1986, the LETR raised $15,000 and in 2011 they raised $2,284,888 ranking them No. 7 in the world for funds raised. All funds raised go toward supporting Special Olympics Missouri's year-round sports training and athletic competition program for more than 15,000 athletes across the state.

You can honor these officers by making a donation or leaving a message on our discussion board.

Watch a Public Service Announcement featuring Governor Jay Nixon! 

 

Original Participating Agencies

Maryland Heights PD • Lees Summit PD • Tipton PD • Kirkwood PD • MO Dept. of Conservation • Boone Co Sheriff’s Dept • St. Charles PD • Springfield PD • Warrensburg PD • Ballwin PD • Kickapoo Lodge, Springfield • Jefferson City PD • O’Fallon PD • Moberly PD • Independence PD • Manchester PD • Edmundson PD • Clayton PD • Pleasant Valley PD • Kansas City PD • Ellisville PD • St. John PD • Riverside PD • Farmington PD • Salem PD • Lake St. Louis PD • Sedalia PD • MSHP • Raytown PD • National Guard • Gladstone PD • SEMA • Creve Coeur PD • Liquor Control • Clinton PD • Lamonte PD • St. Peters PD • Glendale PD • Div. Hwy Safety • Washington PD • MO Water Patrol • St. Louis PD • DPS • Columbia PD • Hazelwood PD • Florissant PD • Breckenridge Hills • Bridgeton PD • Eureka PD 

 

Take a look at what Law Enforcement has raised for SOMO over the past 26 years: 

 

Year    Gross $ Raised    Net $ Raised
1986    $15,000              $15,000
1987    $33,000              $33,000
1988    $42,000              $42,000
1989    $40,000              $40,000
1990    $38,146              $33,000
1991    $55,725              $49,500
1992    $61,020              $51,890
1993    $46,594              $37,387
1994    $124,392            $87,507
1995    $207,885            $147,779
1996    $314,764            $219,038
1997    $409,300            $270,779
1998    $595,380            $396,787
1999    $811,245            $548,806
2000    $908,316            $640,875
2001    $756,305            $554,891
2002    $864,000            $640,000
2003    $929,472            $747,726
2004    $1,055,196         $857,360
2005    $1,066,409         $760,000
2006    $909,298            $706,087
2007    $1,091,258         $870,960
2008    $1,232,667         $981,012
2009    $1,547,877         $1,207,448
2010    $1,947,303         $1,386,016
2011    $2,284,888         $1,689,056

 

Missouri's Torch Run gains International Attention

1994 - First time we raised over $100,000 and received the Greatest Percentage Increase Award at the International Conference. 

1996 - One of only 2 US Programs with a full-time staff person as their LETR Liaison

1999 - Missouri chosen to host the International LETR Conference in St. Louis.  Making history as over 1,000 people were transported off the host hotel site for the first time to the Arch.

2000 - Major David Pudlowski, St. Louis County PD inducted into the International Torch Run Hall of Fame.

2001 - Capt. Jim Moran, St. Louis Metro PD received the John Carion Award at the International Conference, the highest award presented.

2004 - First year Missouri Torch Run raised over $1,000,000.  You've been doing it ever since.

2004 - Rich Banahan, St. Louis Metro PD, retired, was inducted into the International Torch Run Hall of Fame.

2007 - Susan Stegeman, SOMO's Torch Run Liaison, was inducted into the International Torch Run Hall of Fame.

2008 - Missouri took title of Largest Delegation at the International LETR Conference in Dallas with 48 people.

Missouri Milestones

1994 - Missouri Department of Corrections joins the Torch Run family.

1994 - The LETR received the Award of Excellence - SOMO's highest award presented.

1996 - First Polar "Bear" Plunge held at Osage Beach where 54 participants raised $8,400.

2005 - The LETR received the Award of Excellence - SOMO's highest award presented.

2009 - National Guard MP's join the Missouri Torch Run family. 

2010 - Missouri celebrates 25 years of law enforcement support.

2011 - Missouri LETR raises over $2 million!

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