Inspired to Shine Fun Walk set for Sept. 30

By Amanda Dodson -

Inspired to Shine Fun Walk, a walk to raise funds and awareness for special needs friends and families, is slated for Sept. 30 at West Stokes High School beginning at 5 p.m.

Organizer Mitzi Britt said the one-mile walk will benefit Stokes County Special Olympics and will include dancing, music, prizes and concessions.

“When you register you get a T-shirt and a fun pack which includes a neon necklace and headband. Extra glow sticks will be available on site. We encourage forming teams and making themes for great prizes and even more fun,” she said. “We want to show our wonderful county what our ‘uniquely abled’ friends and family members have to offer and how amazing they are.”

Britt and a group of friends began Inspire Stokes in 2011 as a way to connect and share information with the community about special needs events.

“We as friends and family members realize we can’t always be around our special needs friends all of the time. We want the community to know our friends, siblings and children with special needs and include them. They have something to offer our community, just as much as you and I do.”

Since its inception, Inspire Stokes has lived up to its purpose. The group has worked with the Stokes County Arts Council to offer Star Gazers Summer Art Camp, organized dances, plays, proms, game nights and a support group for family members. In 2016, the nonprofit raised funding to provide Germanton Park with two wheelchair accessible swings and two hard-backed swings and plans to update and install more pieces in the future.

Inspire Stokes also works with EC (exceptional children) classrooms, autism coffee house meetings, and raises money by hosting a popular haunted house at Wildfire Tattoo Studio in Walnut Cove each Halloween.

Britt believes the Stokes County Special Olympics is something everyone can rally around. The annual event, held at the end of April each year at West Stokes High, draws in more than 100 participants throughout the community and around 250 volunteers.

“It is an awesome organization that promotes inclusion and self-confidence. It provides team building skills, confidence and excitement in being a part of something bigger than yourself whether you’re an athlete or a volunteer.”

For more information about Inspired to Shine Fun Walk, email or follow Inspire Stokes County on Facebook. Cost is $20 per person if you register early and includes a T-shirt and fun pack, $15 per person with teams of 5 or more, and $25 the day of the walk. Kids eight and under are free to participate.

Amanda Dodson may be reached at 336-813-2426.

By Amanda Dodson