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Bye-bye balloons

Students and faculty gather outside the Open Door School as they kick off Lawrence County Developmental Disabilities Awareness month with their annual balloon launch.


Wednesday’s dark and dreary skies cleared just in time for a cloudless, blue backdrop as students at Open Door School kicked off Developmental Disabilities Month Thursday morning with the annual balloon launch.

Students excitedly counted down from 10 and released their purple balloons into the wind.

Each balloon is affixed with a card that has the name of a student and the address of the school, in hopes that whoever finds it will write a letter back.

Tim Nunnery, public relations and personnel director for the Lawrence County Board of Developmental Disabilities, said the balloon launch allows DD awareness to spread to a larger spectrum of people, even hundreds of miles away.

Orval Munyan braves the wind and he and his classmates from Open Door School gather in the playground area for the annual Lawrence County Developmental Disabilities Awareness Balloon Launch Thursday.

“It doesn’t just limit it to our county,” Nunnery said. “And the kids love it.”

Nunnery and ODS Principal Kendra Kelley said the balloon launch has been the official kick-off for DD Awareness Month as long as they can remember, at least 15 years.

“I love it, the kids love it,” said Kelley. “We do this to try to make awareness for all our DD programs (ODS, Tri-State Industries and the Early Childhood Center), to let people know what we do.”

In addition to the balloon launch, March is filled with other activities to spread DD awareness.

The second annual 5K run/walk will be March 10 at The Point industrial park in South Point. Registration is $20 the day of the race. Registration will be 7:30 to 8:45 a.m. with the race beginning at 9 a.m. Registration forms are also available at www.tristateracer.com

The Chili Fest will be 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. March 24 at Dawson-Bryant High School, as well as the annual craft show, which brings in local venders to sell their handy work. Registration is open for each event. Call the LCBDD at (740) 532-7401 to register.

The following week, all-stars from Open Door School and Tri-State Industries will face off against local media celebrities in the annual March Madness basketball games.

The games will be March 27 in the DBHS gym. A non-perishable food item is the cost of admission, which will be distributed to various food pantries in the county.


Follow Michelle Goodman on Twitter: @Michelle_Journo