Lincoln County - Donations make all the difference to the all- volunteer organization of the Special Olympics.
On Feb. 8, a $1,000 donation was gifted from the Skibinski’s Foundation to Lincoln County Roadrunners, and the Lincoln County Special Olympics Chapter sits under the umbrella of Special Olympics of Missouri.
“No one in our organization, from our board members to our coaches, is paid for their time in anything other than smiles or joy from our athletes. So any donations we get we put a lot of weight into how we spend that money. It has to benefit everyone or at least a large portion of our group,” said Suzanne Clarke, volunteer.
The $1,000 donation will go towards paying for uniforms, equipment, and state fees should there be any, Clarke said. According to Clarke, the organization tries to offer two sports simultaneously all year, with a variety of options including softball, basketball, soccer, track and field, and new this summer will be flag football. The athletes range in age from age 8-80 years old with wide-ranging physical and developmental disabilities.
“There is nothing better to me than watching an athlete make a basket in a game or hit the ball. Some of them don’t have a support system and all of us try to be that for them,” said Clarke, whose own son has a developmental disability
Clarke is truly invested in the Lincoln County Special Olympics Chapter. Generally, she pitches in helping out with all the sports activities. Not only that, she also serves as head basketball, softball and track coach. She says there are two keys to the success of the organization - donations and volunteers - and is equally thankful for both. Additionally, she says its the athletes that make Special Olympics special.
“We love our athletes so much we will work with anyone to make sure we get them participating and loving it,” she said.
There are upcoming events and volunteers and donations are appreciated. For more information, go to Lincoln County Roadrunners Special Olympics Missouri on Facebook or reach out to Clarke at 636-248-3503 or President Ginia Meier 314-709-1112.
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