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Fire fighters lead Special Olympics fundraising drive

Date Posted: 2009-11-05

With the Special Olympics 2009 less than two weeks away, Kadena Air Base fire fighters have surged forward to contribute more than $17,500 to the Okinawa fundraising effort.

Battling 90-degree temperatures and more, some 30 fire fighters volunteered to raise money for the Okinawa Special Olympics programs. Dedicating their efforts to Special Olympics founder Eunice Shriver, the fire fighters raised $10,500 on the first of two days of solicitations, adding another $7,000 the second day. The $17,500 total far exceeds the fire fighters’ efforts last year, when they raised $10,400.

The Special Olympics game day will take place November 14th at the Risner Sports Facility on Kadena Air Base. “The spirit of Special Olympics and our program remains an inspiration to many,” notes Chip Steitz, public affairs officer for Department of Defense Schools on Okinawa, “and yes, miracles do happen each and every day. It is part of the vision Eunice Shriver gave the world, and part of the compassion and kindness in helping others understand the importance of celebrating the successes and achievements of individuals with intellectual disabilities.”

The Special Olympics Program at Kadena celebrates its 10th anniversary this year. More than 1,300 special needs athletes and artists will participate, representing 77 different schools on Okinawa. Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps volunteers, alongside their civilian counterparts and family members, will make up a contingent of 2,000 volunteers working on game day.

Special Olympics organizers are still looking for donations and volunteers. Checks may be sent to Friends of Kadena Special Olympics, PSC #80, Box 15576, APO AP 96367. Information is available at 090-8290-2701, and on the Special Olympics local website http://www.kadenaspecialolympics.com.

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