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Special Olympians in need of funds for next year's games

Daily Democrat - 7/10/2018

Success for any Olympian can be attributed to the preparation that goes into their event.

The Special Olympics is no exception.

The Lee County Special Olympics team is preparing for next year's Special Olympics competition in Ames. More than 3,000 athletes participate in a variety of events including: aquatics, athletics (track and field), bocce, cycling, roller skating, soccer, basketball, bowling and tennis.

Other than the athletes training, the area directors are doing their part to ensure that the funding is procured. Brad Benge is the Southeast Iowa District Director for the Special Olympics, and he says the event is designed to be at no costs for the athletes involved.

"Transportation, food, lodging, everything is done by each local team," said Benge. "The state pays for renting the arenas and facilities but the local teams are up to us."

A team in Special Olympics is organized by the county in which the athletes reside. Although athletes are able to compete in surrounding counties, most stay in their respected area.

"Lee County has a high number of special needs kids," said Benge. "We need to do all we can for them."

Multiple fundraisers are held throughout the year to support the kids in their athletic pursuits. The most recent fundraising effort is a truck promotion, where individuals are able to buy raffle tickets for a F-150 truck.

For more information, contact Benge at 319-371-6441.


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