Inaugural LETR Black Tie Gala set for later this summer

Members of the Law Enforcement Torch Run are excited to host the first-ever Black Tie Gala – a premiere event that will showcase the story of a local Special Olympics athlete and raise money to help provide opportunities for others to reach their full athletic potential.

The gala is set for September 15 at the Coast Hotel and will feature a buffet meal, both a live and silent auction and music by the one and only Trevor Panczak.

Guest speaker Brandon Thielen, a local business owner, self-advocate and Special Olympics athlete will share his inspiring story and talk about the abilities of all people with Down Syndrome.  After graduating from college Brandon struggled to find an office job, so instead he started his own business and Photos Galore Digitizing Services has been operating for nine years. In addition to his owning and operating the business, Brandon participates in five-pin bowling and bocce ball and he’s also a member of the Downtown City Speakers Toastmasters Club. As an avid speaker he has travelled across Canada to share his story and encourage others.

There are currently 167 athletes participating in Special Olympic sports in Lethbridge – including 11 summer programs and seven winter programs.

“When you work with Special Olympics you see first-hand how amazing the athletes are,” said Insp. Jason Dobirstein, with the Lethbridge Police Service. “They work very hard and are so dedicated to their sports, but they are also committed to one another and it’s that camaraderie that really sets Special Olympics apart.”

LETR’s mission is to raise awareness and funds for the Special Olympics movement worldwide. More than 85,000 law enforcement officers from 10 provinces and three territories, the 50 United States and 46 countries internationally form the largest grassroots fundraiser for Special Olympics.

Since 2012 more than $450,000 has been raised locally in support of Special Olympics – money that stays in Alberta! Local LETR members include the Lethbridge Police Service, Blood Tribe Police Service, Taber Police Service, Lethbridge Correctional Centre, Alberta Sheriffs and Commercial Vehicle Enforcement.

Tickets for the LETR Black Tie Gala cost $75 per person and can be purchased by contacting Jenn Ward at 403-330-5080 or

All proceeds from the Gala will benefit Special Olympics.

Auction and silent auction donations are still being gratefully accepted and anyone interested in making a contribution is asked to contact Cst. Braylon Hyggen at 403-393-7104 or OR Cst. Mathieu Champagne at 403-223-8991 or

**Insp. Jason Dobirstein and Cst. Braylon Hyggen will be available for media interviews July 6, 2017 at 11 a.m. at the police station. **

Media: any assistance you can provide to help us get the word out about this very cool fundraiser would be very much appreciated.