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Walk a Mile for Special Olympics

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Special Olympics is asking the community to take a few extra steps for its cause.

The Walk a Mile for a Smile fundraiser for the Special Olympics is at 9:30 a.m. Saturday on the track at North Hardin High School. The walk raises money to support athletes who participate in year-round Special Olympics activities, event coordinator Maureen Johnson said.

While the organization has had the event on a small scale for several years, it has been opened up to the community for the past two. The costs to run the program are growing larger, so the organization needed a effective way to raise money, Johnson said.

Special Olympics, a sports program for children and adults with intellectual disabilities, gives participants a competitive activity but also an opportunity to socialize. Parents of participants also gain a way to meet other families, Johnson said.

“It gives the parents a place to network with other parents,” she said.

It also gives parents a place to turn to each other for advice and support.

“Community is just a really big part of Special Olympics,” she said.

Last year, about 110 walkers participated. There were 175 walkers pre-registered for this year’s event last week, she said.

Johnson said she hopes to raise at least $15,000, which would cover the vast majority of the organization’s operating expenses for the year.

The event features a disc jockey, a cake walk, face painting, cornhole, bocce ball, bingo and concessions, she said.

It’s a laid-back affair, Johnson said, and participants are encouraged to raise at least $20 to walk.

Those interested can register the morning of the walk. For more information, contact Johnson at mdaj5@

comcast.net or (270) 877-7127.

Kelly Cantrall can be reached at (270) 505-1747 or kcantrall@thenewsenterprise.com.