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2010 Letz Award: Capt. Joe Chapman

The John Michael Letz Award was established in December 1994 for the purpose of recognizing an individual whose unselfish efforts and contributions are directly responsible for the success of the Law Enforcement Torch Run® for Special Olympics Missouri. It is our unsung hero award.

We have many who are Torch Run enthusiasts; most we don’t know. The reason we don’t know them is because they don’t do the work for the recognition – and that’s why they are deserving of the Letz Award. They are always in the background – working to do more.


Capt. Joe Chapman (right) receives the 2010 Letz Award from 2009 winner Lt. Jim McNeill

In 2010, we acknowledged Capt. Joe Chapman of the Kansas City Police Department for a number of reasons, which include but are not limited to:
 Involved in the Torch Run for 15 years
 Has served as his agencies’ Torch Run Coordinator for 6 years directing his agencies’ fundraising efforts by selling t-shirts, and directing his agencies fundraising efforts
 The first year he took over his agency fundraising totals increased 175%
 Whether it’s a high profile event like the Polar Plunge or the more subdued effort of selling raffle tickets within the agency – he is the one who gets things done.
 He also volunteers at area events especially to present medals
 According to his nominator who has heard him say: “My main motivation to being involved in Special Olympics is first the athletes and then to educate and donate.”
 His agency credits him for the significant growth in getting additional officers involved with LETR by strategically identifying new leaders.
 Their fundraising has grown as a result – during his 6 year tenure as Agency Coordinator, this agency has raised over $328,666 – that’s an average of $100K per year!
 Another legacy is that he has already identified his replacement upon his retirement later this year
 It is my honor to present this award to a person who makes a big difference to his agency, to the LETR and to SOMO athletes in the KC Metro Area
 The 2010 Letz “Unsung Hero” Award goes to – – Capt. Joe Chapman – Kansas City Police Dept.


Capt. Joe Chapman addressing the crowd after receiving the Letz Award.