Meghan Gillis, Vanier Centre for Women

Since starting her career in as a Correctional Officer, Meghan has been a huge supporter of Law Enforcement Torch Run (LETR). It all started at her first Polar Plunge while at college. From there, she had the opportunity to participate in a bowling night with her local Special Olympics floor hockey team. “After spending the evening engaging with the athletes and getting to know them, I realized then and there why supporting this organization was so meaningful,” said Meghan. “The experience gave me so much joy as I heard their stories. We smiled and laughed together and most of them kicked my butt in bowling!” 

Meghan even furthered her involvement with the organization by putting together a relay race involving staff from the Vanier Centre for Women and Maplehurst Correctional Complex to fundraise for LETR. A friend had approached her for help as Meghan had experience organizing events and fundraisers – from that moment, the rest was history! “Last year was the first year running this event, and we hope to continue it in the future,” said Meghan. Not only did this event raise money for LETR, it also helped to get staff from the Vanier Centre for Women and Maplehurst Correctional Complex involved in a positive way. 

Meghan cherishes her time with LETR and the connections she has made with other volunteers, coaches, and of course, the athletes. Above all else, the reason Meghan continues to be involved with LETR is seeing the impact the organization haon Special Olympics athletes. “I have seen the smiles on the faces of Special Olympics athletes and heard many inspiring stories from the coaches,” Meghan expressed. “Seeing the confidence and determination of such athletes, alongside the passion and enthusiasm that the coaches and volunteers bring, intrinsically motivates me to be involved.”  

Like the true leader she is, Meghan has been instrumental in bringing awareness to LETR and getting others at the Vanier Centre for Women involved. “LETR fosters an atmosphere that builds people up, and brings them together while providing opportunity to build confidence and be a part of a team,” said Meghan. “Others should get involved with LETR because together we can change the lives of others in ways some of us will never fully understand,” she continued. “Watching the smiles on the athletes faces and hearing the inspirational stories along the way truly prove why supporting this organization is so important.”  

Meghan’s unwavering support of LETR has been a true display of her dedication to the Special Olympics movement and the 26,000 athletes that make up Special Olympics Ontario. For that, we can’t thank Meghan enough!