Route announced for 2024 Pawnee County Torch Run

Apr. 17—LARNED — Pawnee County law enforcement officers are gearing up for their local leg of the 2024 Law Enforcement Torch Run scheduled for May 15.

The public is encouraged to join them as they escort the Special Olympics Kansas Flame of Hope from Schnack Park down Main Street to the Pawnee County Courthouse. The run begins at 10:45 a.m.

A BBQ lunch of hot dogs and burgers will follow the run on the Courthouse lawn.

LETR T-shirts and ball caps will be available for purchase during the meal.

In past years, the run continued to Great Bend, where Barton County officers then escorted the Torch to Hutchinson.

Great Bend law enforcement is currently considering participation, but route details and beginning and ending points have yet to be worked out.

Torch Run History

The Law Enforcement Torch Run began in 1981 in Wichita, as a vision of Chief Richard LaMunyon. That year, Chief LaMunyon and five officers carried a torch to raise funds for the Special Olympics Games in Wichita.

LETR has since evolved to a volunteer partnership with Special Olympics to champion acceptance and inclusion. The LETR is held in all 50 states and 42 countries around the world, raising more than $58 million annually and recruiting more than 110,000 law enforcement officers worldwide to participate. In 2021, the LETR raised over $442,000 for the state of Kansas.