LAW ENFORCEMENT TORCH RUN
FOR SPECIAL OLYMPIcS WISCONSION
DALE BRUNNER HALL OF FAME
Named in honor of Wisconsin’s first LETR Director, Special Olympics Wisconsin
created the Law Enforcement Torch Run Dale Brunner Hall of Fame Award In 1999 to recognize Wisconsin’s outstanding individuals who significantly contribute to the continuing statewide success of the Wisconsin Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics.
“Let me win,
but if I cannot win, let me be brave in the attempt”
Eunice Kennedy Shriver
July 20, 1968
What is the Wisconsin Law Enforcement Torch Run
The Wisconsin Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics is an annual event that raises money and awareness for the Special Olympics in Wisconsin. Law enforcement officers from across the state participate in the run, carrying the “Flame of Hope” torch through various communities in Wisconsin.
The Torch Run is a collaboration between the Wisconsin Law Enforcement Torch Run Council and Special Olympics Wisconsin. The event began in 1986 when Milwaukee Police Officer Dale Brunner organized a small group of Officers in the Milwaukee Police Running Club and relayed to Madison, raising a little more than $1,000 dollars. The Law Enforcement Torch Run has grown in popularity and participation over the years and has raised over $600 million for Special Olympics since forming. The run typically takes place in early June, leading up to the Special Olympics Wisconsin State Summer Games.
The Torch Run typically begins with a ceremony in which the “Flame of Hope” is lit by a Special Olympics athlete. Law enforcement officers then carry the torch through their respective communities, passing it from hand to hand until it reaches its final destination. Along the route, members of the community come out to show their support, cheering on the runners and making donations to the Special Olympics.
The Wisconsin Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics is not only a fundraising event, but also a way to raise awareness and promote acceptance of people with intellectual disabilities. The run provides an opportunity for law enforcement officers to interact with the Special Olympics athletes and their families, fostering a sense of community and support for all involved.
Overall, the Wisconsin Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics is a powerful demonstration of the commitment and dedication of law enforcement officers to their communities and to the athletes of the Special Olympics. It is a testament to the importance of inclusivity and support for individuals with intellectual disabilities, and a celebration of the joy and determination of the Special Olympics athletes themselves.
History of the Wisconsin Law Enforcement Torch Run
Milwaukee Police Officer Dale Brunner was instrumental as Wisconsin joined the Law Enforcement Torch Run movement in 1986, serving as Wisconsin’s First Torch Run Director. Dale laid a foundation for success by cultivating relationships of mutual respect and inspiration that continue to unite the communities of Wisconsin’s Law Enforcement Agencies and Special Olympics.
Bringing Wisconsin Law Enforcement and Special Olympics together as Director for the Wisconsin LETR, and work as Regional Coordinator were nationally recognized on February 15, 1992 at the First Annual Law Enforcement Torch Run Awards Night for Special Olympics. Dale proudly entered the first class of The Torch Run Hall of Fame alongside Torch Run Founder Richard LaMunyon (KS), Kirk Miles (KS), Janet Holliday (TX), Chris Casey (KS), Joe Hurtuck (NJ), Doyle King (KS), Lorne White (ON), Dave Atkins (NH), Peter Wheeler (CT) and Darrell Sanders (IL).
Together the communities of Wisconsin’s Law Enforcement and Special Olympics have built an undeniable platform with the Law Enforcement Torch Run that brings awareness to the unique programs Special Olympics provides its athletes and the opportunity to transform lives through. Since 1986, together with civic leaders, elected officials, executives of business and the community at large the Wisconsin Law Enforcement community has raised over $30 Million dollars for Special Olympics Wisconsin in addition to a growing number of fundraising platforms ensuring it’s continued success.
The Dale Brunner Hall of Fame Award is bestowed upon those participants who have gone above and beyond the normal call of duty in their efforts to enhance the LETR in its support of the mission of Special Olympics Wisconsin. The award is presented annually after the Final Leg and Law Enforcement Torch Run® Celebration during the Wisconsin Summer Games.