Raising awareness for Special Olympics


By Joel Charron

The Amherstburg Police and Community Living Essex County (CLEC) held a barbecue at Channel Resource Centre to kick off the “Be a Fan” campaign for the Special Olympics.

The “Be A Fan” campaign is a national awareness and fundraising initiative in support of Special Olympics. The Special Olympics movement transforms communities by inspiring people to open their minds to accept and include people with disabilities and to celebrate difference amongst all people while recognizing and respecting the similarities we all share.

The Be a Fan campaign is the largest ever national awareness campaign launched by Special Olympics. This event celebrates accomplishments of Special Olympics over the past 44 years along with celebrating the 25th Anniversary of the Law Enforcement Torch Run program in Canada.

In 1987, the Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics made its Canadian debut. The Torch Run is the movement’s most valued partner, raising significant funds and awareness for Special Olympics in hundreds of communities across the nation.

In communities across the country, distinctive red laces will be worn by Chiefs of Police, Law Enforcement officers, dignitaries and general public alike. The laces will not only unite everyone, it will showcase and celebrate support for Special Olympics.

To mark their 25th year partnering with Special Olympics Canada, law enforcement officials in communities across the nation hosted the first ever Be a Fan Day on Thursday, October 25.


The Amherstburg Police and Community Living Essex County kick off “Be A Fan” Day for Special Olympic with a barbecue at Channel Resource Centre Thursday afternoon.

The event is being held to raise awareness for the Special Olympics and the torch run. The run in Canada has raised more than $40 million in the past 25 years for the Special Olympics.

“Everyone across the country is doing this type of event,” said Sgt. Mike Cox. “We’re just looking to promote Special Olympics and to have people understand where we are coming from.”

CLEC support worker Michelle Jones-Rousseau said Special Olympics is a very important program for a lot of people that are supported by CLEC.

“Athletics bring a lot of joy to the lives of many our people,” said Jones-Rousseau.

Jones-Rousseau noted that whenever events like Be a Fan Day are held, it creates a “wonderful and fun atmosphere to hang out with the police officers,” said Jones-Rousseau.   “It’s just a good thing all the way around.”

Windsor community coordinator for Windsor Special Olympics Cindy LaBrecque said events like this are important to the Special Olympics because it brings awareness to the need for more volunteers and athletes.

“After events like this often times it will give us an increase of athletes and volunteers to our programs,” she said.

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