TOP PHOTO: Brandon Johnson is heading up plans to re-establish Special Olympics in Campbell County. Johnson and representatives from Special Olympics Tennessee spoke at Tuesday’s Rotary Club luncheon.
By Charlotte Underwood
LAFOLLETTE, TN (WLAF) – Representatives from Special Olympics Tennessee presented at Tuesday’s South Campbell County Rotary Club luncheon held at the United Methodist Church in LaFollette.
After a 15 year hiatus, efforts are underway to re-establish the Special Olympics in Campbell County. Brandon Johnson is heading up the local efforts as area director to get the program up and running again. He coordinated and introduced Tuesday’s guest speakers for Rotary.
“We’ve had great support with this so far and my hope is community members step up and help us raise funds to get this started. The goal is to get something up and going by May. One in five people in Campbell County has a disability; that’s why this is so important to get this going,” Johnson said.
During the Rotary Luncheon, East Tennessee Regional Manager with Special Olympics Tennessee Brenna Soriano told Rotarians a bit about the Special Olympics program and its benefits to the community. She also outlined volunteer and coaching opportunities that need filled.
According to Soriano, Special Olympics Tennessee is a 501 (c3) and is supported completely through fundraising and grants.
“We never charge athletes or a family to participate and compete in Special Olympics,” Soriano said.
There are multiple coaching and volunteer opportunities needing filled to get the program started.
The first event planned will be a Track and Field competition tentatively scheduled for mid May, according to Soriano,
“We need volunteers for the event, we need coaches and members to participate in the management team as well and to help fundraise,” Soriano said.
Special Olympics representative and Law Enforcement Torch Run Director Jennifer McFee spoke about fundraising opportunities and how her organization helps raise funds for Special Olympics.
McFee and Soriano spent Tuesday in Campbell County at various meetings working on getting the program started including meeting with school and county leaders. A community meeting was held Tuesday evening at Manna House Coffee as well to help establish support and a local leadership team.
“You guys have a lot of support here, and we’re so excited to work on getting this program going in Campbell County again,” Soriano said.
For more information on getting involved in Special Olympics Campbell County, contact Johnson at 423.494.4894, check it out on Facebook at Facebook.com/SOCampbellCounty. (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 09/28/2022-6AM)