Largest Special Olympics fundraiser returns to Fox Valley

Updated: Jun. 10, 2021 at 5:58 PM CDT
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NEENAH, Wis. (WBAY) - After a year off due to the pandemic, law enforcement officers throughout the Fox Valley put on their running shoes and joined some special athletes.

It’s an annual event that has spanned 50 years in the Fox Cities.

Thursday, outside the Neenah Police Department, officers from 10 agencies joined Special Olympics athletes for the Law Enforcement Torch Run (LETR).

“We are honored to have a partnership with law enforcement, they are our largest partnership across the state and across the globe really, law enforcement, they love working with our athletes, they love helping out at the events and they love the spirit of what Special Olympics is for our communities,” said Sarah Graper, Special Olympics LETR Director.

By carrying the Flame of Hope through communities, officers and athletes raise money for and awareness of Special Olympics.

Those participating could run, walk or bike Thursday’s 4.2-mile journey from Neenah to Menasha’s Jefferson Park.

Some even braved the heat in full gear.

“It’s something that SWAT trains for. We try to hold ourselves to a high level of performance, and this is just one way we can add to our contribution here and show our support for the Special Olympics,” said Officer Tom Zieman with the Appleton Police Department.

For Neenah Officer Stuart Zuehls, this marked his 25th year taking part in Special Olympics’ largest fundraiser.

“Whatever we can do to kind of give back to our athletes and Special Olympics, it’s just awesome, it’s cool, it’s a really good run,” says Zuehls.

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