Special Olympics Southern California Hosts Law Enforcement Torch Run International Conference

More than 1,000 law enforcement officers from throughout the world to discuss ways to support Special Olympics


Click here for the Conference Program

Long Beach, Calif., Oct. 13, 2010 – Law enforcement personnel from all over the world will “Catch the Wave” at this year’s Law Enforcement Torch Run® (LETR) International Conference for Special Olympics, Oct. 19 to 22. This is the first time that Special Olympics Southern California will host the event.

The conference will kick off Oct. 20 with a dramatic opening ceremony where the “Flame of Hope” torch will arrive by surfboard. It will culminate on Oct. 22 with sports activities, including the Misty May Beach Volleyball Tournament, where Misty May-Treanor may be in attendance. Friday’s events also include a 5K Torch Run and Wii sports activity with unified teams of law enforcement officers and Special Olympics athletes.

Featured celebrity speakers include Olympians Bruce Jenner, Rafer Johnson and John Naber and former professional baseball pitcher, Jim Abbott.

Special Olympics Southern California will be showcased with local Special Olympics athletes serving as emcees and law enforcement agencies serving as hosts, including the Long Beach Police Department, California Highway Patrol, Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department and other agencies.

Chief Roberta Abner of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department and Torch Run Director for Southern California says that her dedicated Law Enforcement Torch Run team is eager to serve as hosts for their colleagues from around the world. “This is Southern California’s opportunity to showcase our community and our dedication to Special Olympics athletes who are the beneficiaries of the knowledge learned by conference attendees,” Abner said. “Our ultimate goal is that law enforcement’s impact will bring even greater awareness for Special Olympics in communities throughout the world.”

The LETR International Conference allows volunteers from all corners of the globe to mingle, share inspirational stories, and learn from one another as they collaborate to improve their local Torch Run programs. In turn, the conference will build public awareness and continue to change the lives of Special Olympic athletes through new and fresh ideas. Attendees come from North America and as far as Europe, Latin America , China, Korea, and Australia.

"We are honored to host the annual LETR International Conference,” said Bill Shumard, CEO & President of Special Olympics Southern California. “More than 1,000 dedicated, compassionate and hardworking volunteer law enforcement officers from 35 nations will brainstorm ways to increase their support of Special Olympics and the more than 3 million individuals with intellectual disabilities that we serve.”

Established in 1981, LETR is a world-wide grassroots program that builds awareness for Special Olympics. More than $34 million was raised worldwide in 2009 alone.

Participating sponsors are Knights of Columbus, Tesoro, American Military University, Long Beach Convention & Visitors Bureau, Pechanga, Cops 4 Causes, Over the Edge, The Oxford Company, Worthington Ford, Nintendo, California Casualty, Motorola, Relay Gear, Special Markets, California Police Chiefs Association, Fraternal Order of Police, Port of Long Beach, Los Angeles County Supervisor Don Knabe, Xerox, ProtaTECH, and Verizon.

The conference will be held at the Long Beach Convention Center. Media interested in covering the event should contact Kim Pine at kpine@sosc.org, 562.354.2611, to obtain a VIP Parking Pass.



About Special Olympics Southern California: Special Olympics Southern California has been changing lives through the power of sport for more than 40 years and offers opportunities for children and adults with intellectual disabilities to participate in year-round sports training and competition. Special Olympics Southern California appreciates the support of its year-round Mission Partners: KTLA, Law Enforcement Torch Run, Summit Entertainment, Toyota, The Vons Foundation, and Walmart. For more information about how to compete, coach or contribute to Special Olympics Southern California, visit www.sosc.org


Created by the Joseph P. Kennedy, Jr. Foundation. Authorized and Accredited by
Special Olympics, Inc. for the Benefit of Persons with Intellectual Disabilities.

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