04/19/09 — County responds to call for funds for T-shirts

View Archive

County responds to call for funds for T-shirts

By Kenneth Fine
Published in News on April 19, 2009 2:00 AM


News-Argus Staff Writer

When Special Olympics Wayne County program director Rich Walderman went public about the organization's need for $1,500 to fund T-shirts for the athletes scheduled to participate in the April 22-23 track and field event at Eastern Wayne High School, he didn't know what to expect.

He certainly never imagined that piles of mail would start showing up at his home, that county residents would reach into their hearts -- and pockets -- to the tune of thousands of dollars.

But that is just what happened.

One envelope included a $10 check and a note that read, "I wish I could give more."

Another contained $500.

A few businesses even offered to cover the costs outright.

"The outpouring from Wayne County has been tremendous. I go home and get the mail and it's like Christmas," Walderman said. "Our goal was $1,500 and, already, we have probably tripled that."

The donations will ensure the roughly 250 athletes and volunteers who turn out for this week's event a keepsake -- one that means something more than a simple T-shirt to those donning them, Walderman said.

But the money won't end there.

In fact, there will be enough left over to pay for T-shirts for the next three years -- and that is assuming letters stop pouring in.

"The county has really come through. It's been overwhelming," Walderman said. "This is just outstanding."

Those who still wish to give to the cause may send a donation to Special Olympics 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.