Sergeant Aaron Gross is the Law Enforcement Torch Run (LETR) for Special Olympics Ontario (SOO) representative for the Niagara Regional Police Service. With his involvement he helps coordinate officers in attendance for local SOO School Programs, Polar Plunge, other fundraising initiatives, and program events. Aaron goes beyond that by taking part in additional events across the province such as the Truck Convoy, Final legs and more.
During the course of the pandemic, Aaron has remained involved with SOO by making an impact with the athletes and community. Celebrating 34 years of LETR in Ontario this past June, the 2021 Ontario Virtual Torch Run was held virtually. Aaron help coordinate successful involvement within the community and also to have the Niagara Falls and the CN Tower be lit up in Special Olympics colours to help celebrate and be recognized.
Like all of us we miss seeing our friends within the SOO and LETR community. “The thing I look forward to the most is when we get to see everyone again, the athletes and those who have been working so hard to keep all of these events and programs running,” states Aaron. “Seeing all the joy and happiness that Special Olympics brings to athletes and their families that is what keeps me involved.”
When Sergeant Aaron Gross was asked to express his favourite SOO and LETR memory, it was hard to narrow it down. “…But for just picking one I would have to say the Special Olympics Canada National Winter Games Final Leg, 2020 in Thunder Bay. Included on the Final Leg were two athletes and other LETR members from across Canada. We were running across communities in northern Ontario and in between the runs were bused to various communities and were able to share our experiences and see that we all had the same goal – representing SOO and LETR across the country.”
Sergeant Aaron Gross has grown a passion for the Special Olympics movement and his impact and commitment to the athletes is what makes him a true Champion of Inclusion. “If someone asked me about being part of SOO and LETR I would tell them to just get involved and no commitment of their time is to small. This is a meaningful way to give back to the community and make a difference in the lives of the athletes.”
Inclusivity is very important to Sergeant Aaron Gross. His son, Elliot, has an intellectual disability, and Aaron was overjoyed to see his son being welcomed by his peers. “I can't tell you how great it made me feel to know that the other kids wanted to include him in their celebration as they saw him as one of them.”
Join us in celebrating Champions of Inclusion like Sergeant Aaron Gross today on Global Day of Inclusion and through this week by using your voice when you #ChooseToInclude.
Take a photo like one of Sergeant Aaron Gross and his son Elliot, post it on social media, tag Torch Run Ontario and Special Olympics Ontario using #ChooseToInclude. Let's make sure everyone feels included today and everyday