I met Ruth Holland, one of the Special Olympics coaches in Monroe County, Florida (essential Key West, FL), because she commented on my blog posts on distressedmullet.com. Ruth and I were never "cool kids," but with SUP, we can be part of the "cool kids."
She works with Special Olympics athletes in Key West to help them develop social skills, get exercise, grow a community, and participate in mainstream events and activities. You can see, from the pictures, that it really benefits the athletes and they have tons of fun!
"There are some participants who never have had a chance to get off the island," said Ruth. "Special Olympics has opened up a whole new world."
I've adopted the Monroe County Special Olympics as my fundraising cause for the 31 mile Chattajack race in Chattanooga, TN. A lot of people enter events (marathons or bike rides or 10ks) and fundraise whether that's part of the event or not. I am training and preparing for this race, which will be held on October 26, 2013. It is a huge goal for me.
While training for my goal, I wanted to do something to help Special Olympics with their big SUP Invitational in the fall (October 13, 2013--2 weeks before Chattajack). The donations to Special Olympics will allow the event organizers to provide a completely free event to all participating athletes. All the participants will have to do is get there.
What separates Special Olympics from one-time events such as a Surfers Healing event?
While many events are one day only, and expose a lot of new participants to the availability of the sport community, they're one-and-done. Special Olympics provides a consistent social structure for participants and their families that runs year-round.
I'm asking you, friends, and donors to contribute $31, if you can, $1 for each mile of my race to help Florida Special Olympics-Monroe County in their race. However, $1, $5, $31, $500 whatever you can give will enrich these athlete's lives!
All of the money will go to the Special Olympics Florida-Monroe County. (After GoFundMe fees.)
If you'd prefer to contribute directly to Florida Special Olympics-Monroe County, please make the check out to "Florida Special Olympics-Monroe County" and email me at katie "at" thegardenofwords "dot" com for the mailing address.
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