The local chapter of Special Olympics of Ohio, Special Olympics of Delaware County, has a mission to provide year-round sports training and athletic competition in a variety of Olympic-type sports for athletes with intellectual disabilities. However, none of it would be possible without the community stepping forward to volunteer time and provide monetary donations.
“Let me win, but if I cannot win, let me be brave in the attempt,” is the oath that every athlete repeats before the beginning of a Special Olympics event.
Special Olympics of Delaware County is a self-funded 501 (c) (3) with the mission to provide athletes with unique challenges and year-round opportunities for physical fitness, to demonstrate courage, and to help provide the development of athletic skills.
“Special Olympics runs solely on fundraisers and donations,” said Laurie Hollingsworth, Special Olympics of Delaware coach.
Recently, avid runners and the organizers of the Possum Race Series — Delaware residents Chad Heald and Mark Carroll — donated the “leftovers” (proceeds) from their ultramarathon trail running events, such as Playing Possum 50K and Forget the PR Mohican 50K, to Special Olympics of Delaware County. They have done so for the past seven years.
“Special Olympics is near and dear to both our hearts,” Heald said. “We wanted to put on a great race for our runners, but also support other organizations that do good.”
Heald said the Possum Race Series has donated over $40,000 to the Special Olympics of Delaware County. He said they also donate to Special Olympics of Richland County, as well.
According to Hollingsworth, Heald and Carroll are Special Olympics of Delaware County’s largest contributors to date, but she said it takes more than money to keep the organization running for the almost 300 athletes. It also takes volunteers.
“We are in need of volunteers to help with fundraising, coaching, IT assistance, team mom and dads, social media/content providers, grant writers, donation solicitors, event volunteers, recruitment, photographers, office assistant and advisory committee members.”
To find out more about Special Olympics of Delaware County, visit www.sodcoh.org.
To get involved, email email@example.com or call 740-200-0682. Donations of funds can be sent to Special Olympics of Delaware County, 7991 Columbus Pike, Lewis Center, OH 43015.
Contact D. Anthony Botkin at 740-413-0902. Follow him on Twitter @dabotkin.