Jeffery McLean got his start with Law Enforcement Torch Run (LETR) during his time with the Shelburne Police Service. His first involvement began with participating in a Torch Run as an Auxiliary Constable, with about 100 other runners. Fast forward to 2020, Jeffery became the Chair of the Shelburne Police Service’s local LETR committee. Now, Jeffery wears a new uniform. As Shelburne Police Service disbanded and transitioned into the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP), Jeffery became a Constable with the force. Although his role has changed, his passion for LETR has remained stronger than ever.
Looking back on his time with LETR, Jeffery recalled back to his favourite event: the Special Olympics Ontario Invitational Youth Games in Toronto. “Every family member and athlete were so excited to see the torch runners and be a part of the event. We saw excitement and tears,” Jeffery remarked. “Every final leg makes being involved worth it.”
The connection Jeffery has made with the Special Olympics community becomes instantly apparent when seeing him at an event. He credits the friendships he has made with athletes, coaches, and fellow organizers over the years to keeping him so committed to the movement. “When I organized my first LETR event, I did not have any connection to Special Olympics. At the first event I organized, I met Special Olympics athlete, Ryan MacBean, and his father Kevin MacBean (long time LETR and Special Olympics volunteer),” said Jeffery. “Ryan showed me his commitment to the program, and became an inspiration to me. The impact that these fundraisers have on the athletes is a huge motivator to make each event better than the last!”
Jeffery also highlights the camaraderie between like-minded members of law enforcement when speaking about the impact LETR has had on him. “LETR allows individuals to make friends for life,” said Jeffery. “LETR is a small way that we can get involved, have fun, and make a difference in the community.”
In recognition of his dedication to LETR and Special Olympics, Jeffery was awarded with the Rising Flame award in 2017. The Rising Flame award is to recognize individuals who show an exceptional promise of leadership and continued contribution to the Ontario Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics. Well, Jeffery exemplified exactly that!
His leadership grows stronger each day as he continues to encourage other members of law enforcement to get involved with LETR. “Fundraising for Special Olympics is a way to give back to a community that truly appreciates everything,” Jeffery expressed. “Each athlete is inspirational, where they show their devotion and dedication to every sport and event,” he continued. Not only will you give back to the community but, the bonds you create will make it all worthwhile. “The memories and friends that you develop along the way make it worth it, all while supporting a great cause,” said Jeffery. “It is truly rewarding!”
Thank you, Constable Jeffery McLean, for everything you do! Thank you