GRAND CANYON, Ariz. - On April 24, the Grand Canyon will once again host one of its most treasured events, the Law Enforcement Torch Run (LETR). The run will start at Mather Point at around 6:30 a.m. and eventually finish in the town of Tusayan.
The mission of the Torch Run is to raise funds and increase awareness for Special Olympics Arizona, which will be held in Mesa April 27-28. Because of the success of the torch run, law enforcement is single largest donor to the Special Olympics statewide.
The Grand Canyon Chamber has once again partnered this year with the Park Service and the Special Olympics to make the LETR an event to remember.
On March 30 the chamber held a bingo night fund-raiser at the Grand Hotel in Tusayan, with all proceeds going to Special Olympics.
"The bingo night was very successful, we brought in around $500 dollars, which was great for a two hour event," Grand Canyon Chamber General Manager Josie Bustillos said. "The Grand Hotel was very generous to let us use their lobby for the event as well."
For Special Olympic athlete and representative Bill Barber, LETR signifies everything the Games strive to achieve: awareness and equality for all people, regardless of disability.
"Park Service employees Kyle Nelson and Brett Hergert have helped me this year in doing the torch run," Barber said. "It takes team work to do this event and both of them are doing a wonderful job."
Grand Canyon Park Superintendent Dave Uberuaga, Tusayan Mayor Greg Bryan and Williams Mayor John Moore will once again be present at the IMAX Theater for photos.
After the run, McDonalds will treat the participants for breakfast.
The LETR is restricted to just law enforcement, but the Grand Canyon School track team also has special permission to run as long as they are sponsored. All the proceeds will go to the Special Olympics.
The LETR had around 25 runners total last year, and Bustillos predicts the number will remain about the same this time around.
"I'm really excited, I'm happy we are back," Bustillos said. "It was a great partnership last year and I'm glad we were about to do it again this year. We thank the Lions Club and the Rotary Club for their generous donations."
For more information on the LETR, visit www.arizonatorchrun.com.