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PHOTO BY LEANN DILBECK

Volunteers Expecting Twice the Number of Athletes for Area 14 Special Olympics

Track & Field Event to be Held in Mena

BY LEANN DILBECK –

Mena is set to once again, not only host the Track & Field event for Special Olympics in April, but also to welcome twice the number of athletes from last year and according to Area 14 Special Olympics Director Elizabeth Thompkins, that’s a testament to the fabulous job by local volunteers.

This year’s volunteer coordinator Jeanette Berry reports that currently 105 volunteers have registered to assist with the event to be held at Bearcat Stadium on April 4. A volunteer orientation was held last week to provide logistical and scheduling information for the generous volunteers who will be donating their time to make the day very memorable for these talented athletes.

Thompkins shared that currently 185 athletes are registered representing Paris Public School, Magazine Public School, Booneville Public School, Waldron Public School, Mena Public Schools, Ouachita Rivers Public Schools, Cossatot River Public School, PCDC, BHDC, Woodcrest BOST and LCDSC.

The Quality of Life Coalition is providing an “Olympic Village” this year for the athletes to rest and enjoy during events.

The Parade of Athletes will kick-off at 9:30 a.m. and events will be held throughout the day.  The public is encouraged to attend to show their support for these athletes.

“Volunteers receive far more than they give,” said Linda Rowe, Chair of the local Event Committee. “Every Olympian portrays the Special Olympics motto – Let me win, but if I cannot win, let me be brave in the attempt.  It is a joy and a blessing to have these games in Mena because people of our community are so giving and committed to helping others.  The planning committee is totally dedicated to making these games the best and our volunteers are vital to achieving this goal.”

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