Three Harding students organized a kickball fundraiser for Special Olympics scheduled for April 14 from 11:30 a.m. to 6:30 pm at the intramural fields.
Senior advertising majors Mandie Durey, Reid Horton and Drew Mason are in the process of creating a bracket for the fundraiser. The three students said they are trying to raise money for two Special Olympics finalists to attend the nationals in Seattle. Each student who registers a team is asked to pay five dollars in support of the athletes. Other contributions will be collected through sales from concessions at the tournament.
Tom Ritchie, director of recreation programs and intramural fields has assisted in the regional and state Olympic games at Harding and is a formerspecial education teacher. He said he will be providing the equipment and setting up the venue.
“This is another opportunity for a type of altruism, with a good case as the beneficiary,” Ritchie said.
Durey said planning the event was a tedious process. The students sorted research, worked out details, promoted team registration and updated their Facebook page, but they knew all the difficulties would make the rewards more meaningful.
Zach Neal dean of students is in charge of assisting students and organizations with fundraising ideas. He played a major role in making their job easier. Neal said he plans to send out an e-mail to his colleagues in order to create a team.
“I have extended family with special needs, so the idea is close to my heart,” Neal said. “Anything that assists Special Olympics is a great idea. I encourage everyone to help in any way they can.”
Durey, Horton and Mason all have experiences that connect them personally to the Special Olympics and are hoping to show the athletes love, inspiration and support by providing them with this opportunity. The three students expressed they want to be a vessel for other Harding students to learn more about Special Olympics and to become involved. They said they are also excited to connect the faculty and students together.
“We’re really excited to hopefully get a White County Special Olympics athlete to come speak at the fundraiser,” Durey said. “I’m excited to see people out there, and I think this could be a continuous event that doesn’t have to stop with just this project. We hope it does carry on.”
The three students have already raised $100 and hope to continue the momentum. The last day to sign up for a team is April 9. Sign ups are available on the Facebook page “Kick for a Cause.”