Special Olympics was hosted at West Stokes High on Friday and more than 500 people filtered into the Wildcats football stadium for the anticipated annual event. Fox 8 and Stokes County native Chad Tucker was the grand marshal for the annual event.
“Today was a complete success,” said co-chair Ashleigh Parker. “Being able to help is an honor. I find it to be the highest privilege to work alongside our most exceptional population. The more time I spend with our athletes, the better outlook I have on life.”
Parker said she hopes to see the community rally around Special Olympics in months to come as she and organizers continue working to see it grow.
“I have a desire to see more than just spring games, but to see programs year-round pop up all across this community so that our athletes of all ages have the same opportunities as everyone else. It will take time, but it’ll be a great success because the hearts of those behind the operation are in the right place.”
Volunteer students from across the county came together and paired with athletes in events throughout the day.
“I hope that their hearts are touched, and they make memories that they never forget,” Parker said. “I hope they realize our athletes are just like every other person, not just a label.”
This year’s Special Olympics committee partnered with 47 businesses to help raise money for Friday’s event. Chick-Fil-A, Little Italy, Hauser Rental, Hanes Brand and Champion, Stormie Speaks Insurance, and North End Towing each donated more $300.
For more information, volunteering opportunities, or to learn more about the sports offered in Special Olympics a meeting is planned on Friday, May 11, 6:30 p.m. at West Stokes School Cafeteria (1400 Priddy Road in King) or email Ashleigh Parker at Stokes@sonc.net
Robert Money can be contacted at 336-749-1193.