Last week, on June 24, various local law enforcement agencies teamed up as part of the Alberta Law Enforcement Torch Run team to raise money for the Special Olympics Alberta at Airdrie's Boston Pizza. 

The event saw law enforcement members and athletes serve customers, collect donations, and raise awareness for the Special Olympics Alberta, where they raised 1126 dollars within the three-hour event.

Last week, on June 24, various local law enforcement agencies teamed up as part of the Alberta Law Enforcement Torch Run team to raise money for the Special Olympics Alberta.Last week, on June 24, various local law enforcement agencies teamed up with members of Special Olympics Alberta to raise money for the sports organization. 1126 dollars was raised within the three-hour event, which was hosted at Boston Pizza Airdrie. (Photo provided by Alberta RCMP)

Local Mounties, including Staff Sgt. Ryan Singleton, Superintendent Rick Jané and Airdrie Detachment Commander Insp. Lauren Weare, alongside Alberta Corrections Deputy Director of Operations, Randy Taylor and Sgt. Harmen Kals of the City of Calgary Transit Public Safety were on hand at the event. 

Staff Sgt. Singleton, who has over two decades of experience in policing, is also the current Chair for the Calgary Region for Special Olympics Alberta for the Law Enforcement Torch Run (LETR) side of Special Olympics Alberta (SOA). He said that events like these are not just a worthy cause for Mounties.

"It's a heart-warming event where we can go in [and] support community initiatives, like Special Olympics; the athletes, their families, coaches, and community members [and] spread the word about what we do as a charity group," he said. "[Events like this] showcase what they're [the athletes are] capable of doing in a positive environment, which could ultimately lead to more employment opportunities."

Last week, on June 24, various local law enforcement agencies teamed up with members of Special Olympics Alberta to raise money for the sports organization. 1126 dollars was raised within the three-hour event, which was hosted at Boston Pizza Airdrie. (Photo provided by Alberta RCMP)Last week, on June 24, various local law enforcement agencies teamed up with members of Special Olympics Alberta to raise money for the sports organization. 1126 dollars was raised within the three-hour event, which was hosted at Boston Pizza Airdrie. (Photo provided by Alberta RCMP)

Singleton explained that growing up sporting activities were a big part of his upbringing.

"... And fitness and activity is a big part of why I've been successful in my career and staying healthy and maintaining positive relationships and more importantly, having the ability to communicate and reach out and talk to the public. Our jobs can be extremely negative. The exposures that we deal with [are] life-changing events. It's very rare, that in policing, you're dealing with positive events," he explained.

However, he said that Special Olympics Alberta has provided that positivity, especially when it comes to interacting with the athletes.

"It's just so rewarding to see that positive energy and all smiles it becomes addictive," Singleton added. "You saw the smiles on the faces; the interaction with the public, with the coaches, with their families, as well as the athletes. It's very heartwarming."

Airdronian Emmi Petersen, a Special Olympics Athlete Ambassador, who also participated in the event, said one of her favourite parts was the camaraderie and interactions with others.

"... Volunteering and spending time with other people; and talking to other people about Special Olympics," she said. "I like having fun with other people and telling them about Special Olympics and also taking pictures for them [and] for us."

Peterson plays a multitude of sports, including golf, softball, cornhole, bocce, as well as swimming, hockey, and bowling. She is currently practising and looking ahead to the 2025 Alberta Summer Games and will be competing in swimming. 

When asked why events like this are important, not just for her but for Special Olympics athletes, she said that it's not just about fundraising, but also showcasing what Special Olympics athletes can do outside of athletics. 

But last week's event wasn't the only exciting happening for the local Special Olympics athletes. On July 1, Canada Day, four athletes from Special Olympics Airdries were at the head of the Canada Day Parade as they had been chosen to be Parade Marshals at this year's parade. 

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