Local athletes’ chances of attending the Special Olympics are threatened if enough money is not raised at an annual garage sale.
The Clark County Special Olympics 21st Garage Sale is currently going on. It is a three-day sale that includes clothes, toys, furniture, kitchen and bath items, outdoors tools and furniture, books, pictures, and vinyl records.
A coach with the Clark County Special Olympics team said visitors can find nearly anything at this sale.
“We have a little bit of everything. In fact, I sold a bathroom sink this (Thursday) morning,” Cindy Lewis, a Track and Field Coach with Clark County Special Olympics team, said.
Lewis is involved in the Special Olympics because of her son. She’s been involved with Clark County’s team since 2005. Money raised she said will be used for Special Olympic sports.
“We have weigh-lifters, we have golfers, track and field, volleyball, basketball, softball, bocce,” Lewis said.
Clark County Special Olympics took 65 athletes to this year’s Ohio Special Olympics.
Money was used to buy a variety of things.
“We pay for snacks, water, transportation. We have to rent buses every time we go somewhere,” Lewis said. “It was over $10,000.”
She said that did not include the bus and its drivers.
Most of that money Lewis said came from last year’s garage sale, races, a golf outing, and donations from the public.
Russel Miller was one of the athletes that participated in the Special Olympic games. He is a multi-sport athlete. His favorite, however, is volleyball.
“I’m a good spike server,” Miller said.
He has 47 gold medals and he wants to continue adding to his collection but that relies heavily on the money raised from the garage sale.
Last year, it made over $5,000.
Lewis said the team hopes to top last year’s success. That means more athletes from Clark County can attend and participate. They hope to have 150 Clark County men and women participate as Special Olympians at the next year’s games.
If enough money is not raised, the local team will not be able to send as many local representatives to the games. That’s something they are trying to avoid.
“One of the best things I ever see all year long is for one of the athletes, especially at summer games, because that is a big part of track and field…get a medal,” Lewis said.
Some of them cry she said and when they cry she does too.
There are athletes as young as 8-years-old and there is also a 50-meter runner whose is in his late 70s. This is a chance Lewis said to give them an opportunity they might not have had if the Special Olympics did not exist.
“Ultimately, we are giving pleasure and joy, accomplishment, success to a population that doesn’t always get that,” Lewis said.
The Clark County Special Olympics 21st Garage Sale is located at the F.F Mueller Residential Center Gymnasium on 2535 Kenton Street in Springfield.
The sale will continue Friday, October 4 from 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. and Saturday, October 5 from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.
Also, the organization will allow anyone to take whatever they want Tuesday, October 8 as it prepares to collect new items for next year’s sale.
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