The Jackalope Jump is happening soon

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A participant dressed as bigfoot jumping into the freezing water

Tanya Baer, [email protected]

ROCK SPRINGS- This year’s Jackalope Jump will be held at PJ Wataha Complex in Rock Springs. Registration starts at 10 a.m. and the jump begins at 12 p.m. The Jackalope Jump is an annual event that is done to help raise money for the Special Olympics in Wyoming. All the money raised will go to covering Special Olympics program costs such as transportation, sports equipment, team uniforms, and meals.

The Jackalope Jump is part of the Law Enforcement Torch Run that was created in 1981, in Wichita Kansas, as a way to raise money for the Special Olympics. Police Chief Richard LaMunyon wanted to bring awareness and raise money for the Special Olympics so he started the Law Enforcement Torch run to do just that. After three years of running the program successfully, LaMunyon decided to share his idea with the International Association of Chiefs of Police. They then endorsed Special Olympics International as the official charity of the Law Enforcement Torch Run.

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Now, years later, the Jackalope Jump is still going strong and has even become an international event and if often called the “Solar Plunge” in other places around the world. Since the beginning of the Law Enforcement Torch Run, and up until the Covid-19 pandemic hit, the money raised had reached almost a billion dollars. With the pandemic restrictions now being lifted in most areas, the billion-dollar milestone is expected to be reached soon! Last year, the goal for Rock Springs was set to 5,000 dollars and reached almost 7,000 dollars. This year the goal is still set at 5,000 dollars and so far 1,692 dollars has been raised. There is still time to donate and register for this year’s Jackalope Jump.

Left to right- Cheif of Police Dwane Pacheco with Police Chief Richard LaMunyon

For the last three years, Rock Springs Police Department has run the Jackalope Jump with the help of Life Skills Wyoming, and Special Olympics Wyoming area 2. Chief of Police, Dwane Pacheco, had a very important role in 2019 when he was asked to represent the State of Wyoming during the final leg of the Law Enforcement Torch Run. He was sent to participate in the Solar Plunge in Abu Dhabi and was even able to meet LaMunyon, the man who started it all. When asked what his favorite part of the Law Enforcement Torch Run was, Pacheco stated, “Watching the Special Olympians having fun and seeing the smiles on their faces. It’s always a lot of fun, and it goes to a good cause, and it really just reminds us why we are doing this in the first place.”

Don’t forget to register now for the Jackalope Jump! You can register as an individual, join a team, or register your own team. Currently, there are seven teams registered and a few individuals as well. You can register by clicking here. Even if you don’t want to participate in the Jackalope Jump, you are more than welcome to watch and support those that are jumping on February 19 at the PJ Wataha Complex in Rock Springs.

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