Volunteers helped raise money for Scioto County Special Olympics during the annual Walk-a-Thon at Tracy Park, in Portsmouth, on Friday, Sept. 22. This year’s event set a new record by attracting more volunteers, and more donations, than ever before!
“The Walk-a-Thon is our yearly kick-off to our Special Olympics activity, and it is one of our major fundraisers every year. It is a great way for our student-athletes and our adult-athletes to come together,” said Theresa Rowland, Scioto County Developmental Disabilities outreach coordinator.
Students from Vern Riffe School participated in the Walk-a-Thon, along with members from Star, Inc. and SRS. Student volunteers from Ohio University Southern walked alongside students and hosted a medical tent. Portsmouth West Middle School Choir sang the National Anthem and then stayed to walk, while K.C. Chatfield provided plenty of good music to help enjoy the beautiful weather.
Officers from Southern Ohio Correctional Facility also volunteered to grill food and helped collect donations from passing motorists. The officers were divided into two teams, red and blue, for a friendly competition to see which team could raise the most money. Team Red won the competition and will be presented with an award in the coming weeks, and together they raised more than $1,400 from motorists.
Goodwill helped sell Special Olympic raffle tickets at the event, to give away a gift basket filled with gift cards valued at $350. Tickets are still available by contacting Rowland at 740-353-0636 (or from any Special Olympics committee member) and cost $1 each or six for $5. The drawing will be held during the SCDD Fall-o-Ween activity on Oct. 26.
“I think it was one of the best Walk-a-Thon’s that we’ve had in a while. The weather was perfect and it was very well-attended. I think it was the most volunteers we’ve ever had,” Rowland said.
After all the donations had been collected and counted, more than $3,000 was raised for the Scioto County Special Olympics during the Walk-a-Thon.
“That money goes to help pay for Special Olympics activities. This year we’re going to have a local Special Olympics volleyball tournament, and the Vern Riffe School Olympians will compete against the county school Olympians. That money goes for lunches for our Olympians, and paying for buses and helping give our coaches a stipend,” Rowland said.
The Scioto County Special Olympics is also participating in the 2023 Scioto Gives fundraiser hosted by The Scioto Foundation. Any donations made to Special Olympics through Scioto Gives on Oct. 19, from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. will be matched by The Scioto Foundation.
For more information about the programs and services at Scioto County Developmental Disabilities, call 740-353-0636 or visit online at www.sciotocountydd.org, and like and follow them on Facebook and TikTok.