04/10/09 — Special Olympics needs donations for T-shirts

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Special Olympics needs donations for T-shirts

By Kenneth Fine
Published in News on April 10, 2009 1:46 PM

A T-shirt might seem simple enough, but for the athletes who participate in local Special Olympics events, it is more than a typical keepsake.

That is the message Special Olympics Wayne County program director Rich Walderman is hoping local residents will come to understand within the next few weeks, as tough economic times and competing organizations' fundraisers have left his coffers void of the $1,500 necessary to fund shirts for the April 22 and 23 track and field event at Eastern Wayne High School.

"I'm sure it's the economy ... but the T-shirts, that's one of the things they look forward to the most," Walderman said.

The goal is to purchase 225 to 250 shirts -- for the athletes and volunteers who train together year-round.

But many of the local businesses and civic organizations that traditionally make it possible to do so say they just don't have any money to spare, Walderman said.

So if the money doesn't come in, the organization will find a way to fund the T-shirts -- to make sure they are ready for this month's competition.

But doing so without help from local donors would create a budget shortfall that might affect other aspects of the Special Olympics.

Those who would like to donate to the cause may send a donation to Special Olym-pics Wayne County, c/o Rich Walderman, 2102 Granville Drive, Goldsboro 27530; or for additional information, contact Walderman at 920-4905.

Special Olympics Wayne County is a non-profit organization. All money raised by the group goes to programming, as staff are all volunteer.