The involvement with Special Olympics and the Polar Plunge started at home

Meet Ryan O’Neill. Six years ago, Ryan O’Neill was approached by a colleague who was involved in the Peel Regional Police Polar Plunge. This colleague knew Ryan had a son with Down Syndrome and invited Ryan to plunge. The rest is history! That year, Ryan participated in the Plunge, the next year he helped organize it, and the last four …

Ron Caudle Is Still Freezin’ For A Reason

Ron Caudle has been involved with the Polar Plunge event for three years. In his first Polar Plunge year, Ron was encouraged by Chief Bryan Larkin to participate in the event to help support Special Olympics Ontario (SOO). “How do you say no to the Chief?” said Ron.    Since then, Ron has continued participating in the Polar Plunge event. Last year, when Waterloo …

Ottawa’s Polar Plunge duo

John McGetrick of the Ottawa Police Service and Special Olympics Ontario athlete, Mélanie Héroux have become quite the Polar Plunge duo! For the last six years, the pair have been the first plungers to make the chilling jump. “This always keeps me looking forward to the next Polar Plunge,” said Mélanie.   Mélanie first got involved with Polar Plunge when Special Olympics Eastern Ontario Director, Kirk De Fazio and herself were …

Recognizing International Customs Day – Introducing, Tara Bottan

Tara Bottan has been working for the past 20 years as an officer with Canada Border Service Agency (CBSA) in several locations across Ontario.  Her career with CBSA began as a summer student while attending Lakehead University in Thunder Bay.  Her CBSA career lead her to positions in the Oshawa Customs Longroom as well as Pearson International Airport, Pigeon River …

Bill Dickson – Ontario Provincial Police, Zone 2

Bill Dickson first joined the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) in 2001 as an Issues Coordinator/Information Officer at the East Region Headquarters in Smiths Falls. Shortly after, Bill was asked to take on the role of a Route Coordinator for the Law Enforcement Torch Run (LETR) in the Ottawa Valley. To this day, Bill will be the one to tell you that at his first Final Leg …

Forming unbreakable bonds

Thomas Carrique, Commissioner of the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) has formed an unbreakable bond with athlete Stephen Graham over the years. “Stephen’s enthusiasm, determination and his commitment to achieving his personal best is an inspiration that motivates those who have the privilege to get to know him to do better and be better,” states Commissioner Carrique. Stephen Graham, a decorated …

Constable Jim Chauvin, Ontario Provincial Police

Jim Chauvin’s first Torch Run was in 2000 and after meeting some of the athletes he was supporting at the event, he was hooked.  “From there, I was asked to be the LETR representative for our town, and I haven’t looked back since!”  Chauvin has gone on to hold a role on the Ontario Law Enforcement Torch Run (OLETR) Operations …

Detective Constable Sarah Bamford, Barrie Police Service

Sarah Bamford’s first exposure to Special Olympics (SO) was in a coaching role.  In the late 1990s, Bamford had the opportunity to start her SO journey by coaching athletes in Figure Skating.  This included two athletes who competed at the 1996 National Winter Games and 1997 World Winter Games.  “The experience of working with athletes was one of many driving forces …

Sgt. Allen Schultz, Hamilton Police Service

For 18 year Law Enforcement Torch Run (LETR) veteran Allen Schultz, it is pretty clear that his connection to the athletes of Special Olympics is the driving force behind his involvement with LETR.  “Each and every time I hear an athlete tell their story at the Provincial Kickoff Conference, I get that lump in my throat. Their stories, our commitments …

S/Sgt. Jay Bouwkamp, Peel Regional Police

Peel Regional Police Staff Sergeant Jay Bouwkamp has worn many caps in the Law Enforcement Torch Run (LETR) and Special Olympics (SO) world.  Bouwkamp has held positions as an Ontario LETR Zone Coordinator, Chair of the Peel Regional Police Torch Run committee and former Georgetown SO club manager.  However his most important role is the father of Jenna, his 18 …