March 24, 2014

Special Olympics road trip to circus

By DUANE NOLLEN The Oskaloosa Herald
The Oskaloosa Herald

---- — OSKALOOSA — Oskaloosa Special Olympics athletes went on a road trip Saturday afternoon to see the circus.

Local Shriners made it possible for Special Olympians and their chaperones to trek to Des Moines to see the Shriners’ Circus.

About 54 Special Olympics athletes and their chaperones boarded a school bus for the trip. The group ranged in age from 8 to 70, said Oskaloosa Special Olympics coach Tammy Sparks.

“The Shriners have given us tickets and they give the athletes $10 to spend,” she said. “The Shriners are giving them an activity book too.”

The athletes are making a day of it in Des Moines, the circus lasts about 2 ½ hours, Sparks said.

“Just about every athlete is going,” Sparks said. Only two local Special Olympians are not making the trip, she added.

The group is sporting orange shirts for their trip to Des Moines. Sparks said that Special Olympics staff took some fund-raising money and made orange T-shirts for the athletes. They wore the shirts for their trip to Adventureland, and they wore them Saturday to the circus, she said.

Sparks said she really appreciates what local Shriners do for the athletes and she said events like the circus trip would not be possible without the help of volunteers.

“If I had more helpers, I could take more people,” she said.

If you are interested in helping with Special Olympics, you can call Sparks at 673-9244.

Herald Editor Duane Nollen can be reached by email at oskynews@oskyherald.com