DOBSON — Thousands of dollars were raised in support of Special Olympics at a recent golf outing.
According to Chrystal Whitt from the Surry County Parks and Recreation Department, about $22,000 was raised at the Fourth-Annual Garry Scearce Memorial Special Olympics Golf Tournament on Sept. 22.
The proceeds will be funnelled into the programs which support the county’s programs for Special Olympics athletes.
Whitt also said about 120 golfers took part in the event.
“Many of the golfers show up every year,” said Whitt. “They are the glue which holds the event together.”
Much in the way of financial support is needed to keep Special Olympics programs running, said Whitt. Transporting athletes to events can be costly, and meals and uniforms are provided to athletes. The athletes are never asked to bear the financial burden of their participation, meaning every trip is an all-expenses-paid trip for athletes.
While YVEDDI often provides buses for travel, Whitt said when traveling out of state or in large numbers, the Special Olympics groups must often rent vehicles. The costs associated with such rentals can be thousands of dollars.
Whitt said the golf tournament is one of two large fundraisers held for Special Olympics. The other is an annual Polar Plunge event.
“The more money raised, the more opportunities we can provide to our athletes,” said Whitt. “It’s so important to keep them active.”
Throughout the year, opportunities for athletes are plentiful. Though the Spring Games attracts much attention, all year long athletes are traveling for competition in various athletic events. Most recently, the Special Olympics softball team took part in an international tournament in Roanoke, Virginia.
She said the program doesn’t operate “without the generosity of others.”
“We need to thank everybody who supported this event a million times over,” noted Whitt.
Andy is a staff writer and may be reached at 415-4698.