Albany to host special Olympics - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Albany to host special Olympics

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August 25, 2005

Albany--For the first time, and for the next three year South Georgia will host the state's fall special Olympics. Event organizers are excited about bringing thousands of athletes and visitors to Albany, but they still need money and volunteers.

With less than two months to go, special programs director Kristin Caso, is hard at work organizing the upcoming special Olympics state games. "For the Special Olympics Georgia to pick us to the host the state games for the next three years is so exciting for Albany because we'll get to show off our beautiful revitalization downtown, our new Hilton Hotel, Riverquarium, and everything we got going downtown," says Caso.

The special Olympics will kick off it's opening ceremony at the Albany civic center October 7. The event will be held at various locations including Chehaw Park and First Tee of Albany.

$50,000 is needed to host the special event, but so far Olympic organizers have only raised half the money. They're nowand are now looking to other sources for help. "we've been talking to a lot of businesses, and civic organizations, and individuals. and we're getting a lot of committments," Caso says.

Donations have come from many downtown Albany businesses. "It's mainly for a good cause," says restaurant manager Ramiro Alvarez. San Joe's manager Ramiro Alvarez, is lending a helping hand to the special Olympics by purchasing a special Olympic's sign for $150, the money all going to host the games. Alvarez doesn't mind spending the money. He says, "I think it's good, and I think it's going to be a good experience for anyone who hasn't been a part of it."

Harvest Moon owner Bo Henry didn't think twice about becoming a "founding friend" of the special Olympics. "i think it'll bring a lot of people to albany. it'll bring a good reputation to Albany for supporting something like the special Olympics, and I think it's great to have it in South Georgia," he says.

Caso is grateful that so many Albany businesses want to help fund the year's state games. "It's really been awesome to see how a lot of groups have come to work with each other just because of the special Olympics. I think it's got the whole community excited," she says.  She hopes to continue that excitement for two more years to come.

The special Olympics also needs volunteers. So far, about 300 people have signed up; however, they still need many more. If you want to help out, contact the Albany Recreation and Parks Department at 430-5222.

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