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Special Olympics: Volunteers are our backbone

Volunteers are the backbone for Special Olympics. Special Olympics enhances the human potential and quality of life for the children and adults with intellectual disabilities by offering year - round sports training, competition and innovative programs such as Global Messenger in the Athlete Leadership Programs, along with Healthy Athletes initiatives.  Through these various programs persons with intellectual disabilities develop physical fitness, experience joy, learn skills, gain self-confidence, become leaders, receive health screenings, and gain personal growth and achievement. They see themselves for their abilities, becoming confident and empowered to become a productive person within the community.

Perham Area Special Olympics Team started in 2002 with 14 athletes now has grown to an average of 65 active athletes. Our athletes come from Battle Lake, Dent, Detroit Lakes, Frazee, New York Mills, Ottertail, Perham, Underwood, and Vergas. Our first year we completed in 2 sports and area meets, now our team competes in 6 sports, 6 area meets, 3 state meets, and had athletes and coaches attended both National Games and World Games. We hosted the Area 4 Basketball Tournament for 10 years and the Area 4 Bocce Tourney.  Perham Area Special Olympics Team has 2 athletes that are Athlete Leader members as Global Messengers, volunteers and coaches. Our team has been blessed with the following Distinguished State Awards: Athlete of the Year, Coach of the Year, Outstanding Media, Volunteer of the Year, and Family of the Year. These are all great honors for a young team. Thank you to all who have helped and donated time for all these years to make this a successful team.  

Perham Area Special Olympics Team needs manpower; we have lost a lot of our core personnel due to retirement and moves. Our need is to fill leadership positions on the Local Sport Management Team (LSMT), the backbone of our organization. These positions are for behind the scene work in areas of administration, registration, record keeping, sport education, fundraising, recruitment, outreach, and public relations. Most of these positions only take an hour or two per month but are vital for a smooth running program.

Please consider donating some time to a great organization. DoNotmiss this opportunity to learn more about the FUN and EXCITEMENT of volunteering for the Perham Area Special Olympics Team. Check it out and attend the informational meeting, Tue. Nov. 12 at 6 p.m. at Productive Alternatives Inc. (802 Jenny Ave, Perham). If you are interested but cannot attend the meeting call Corinne Schattschneider at 218-298-1857 for more information.

Robert Williams

Sports Editor at the Detroit Lakes Tribune. Williams worked prior as the Sports Editor in Perham for the Focus, a Forum Communications newspaper, from 2010-14. 

(218) 844-1442