Special achievements

Published 9:53 am Thursday, May 10, 2012

Ashley Artis competes in the long jump event Wednesday during the annual Lawrence County Special Olympics at Dawson-Bryant High School.


Dawson-Bryant hosts Lawrence County Special Olympics


COAL GROVE — A sea of red, yellow and green, along with a variety of other colors, filled the stands at Patterson Field. Each color represented an individual group but they all shared a common bond.

That bond? Supporting local children as they participated in the 41st annual Lawrence County Special Olympics Wednesday.

The event gives youth with special needs a chance to be competitive and participate in organized activities.

“This is a big day for the kids,” volunteer Mike Burcham, said. “This is their Friday night football.”

There are several events in the gymnasium and on the football field. Each event had a first, second and third place finisher. The winners receive gold, silver and bronze medals.

“The kids are so proud of those medals,” said Kim Ritchie, intervention specialist at Dawson Bryant.

Ritchie wanted to make this a memorable event for the participating youth.

“I purposely decorated,” Ritchie said. “We have face paint and we have the Armadillo from Texas Roadhouse here to greet the kids.”

Texas Roadhouse also catered the event.

The schools that participated included Coal Grove, Rock Hill, Ironton, Fairland, Chesapeake, South Point, Symmes Valley and Open door school.

Ritchie expressed her desire to see the Special Olympics grow.

“I want to try to make it bigger like it use to be,” Ritchie said. “It used to be a huge event.”

Jonathon Roach, with South Point schools, competes in the softball throw during the annual Lawrence County Special Olympics event at Dawson Bryant High School.

Rain delayed the start of the event by a day, which created a little havoc with the student volunteers. Most of the students that volunteered Tuesday had standardized testing Wednesday, which made them unavailable to help with the event, Ritchie said.

“I have all new volunteers for today,” Ritchie said. “Things are chaotic right now but they should run smoothly once everything gets going.”

Ritchie wanted to thank all of the volunteers and the staff for their help and support.

“All of the volunteers and sponsors have been very helpful,” Ritchie said. “The community is very supportive too.”

The Special Olympics Board members said they wanted to thank Liebert, Senior Social Studies of Dawson Bryant High School, Texas Roadhouse, Pepsi, Food Fair of South Point, Wal-Mart of South Point, Sam’s Club of South Point, Teacher Academy of Dawson Bryant and Leo Club of Dawson Bryant.