Kiwanis holds Special Olympics

Published 7:00 am Friday, March 2, 2018

The 36th annual Special Olympics was held Thursday at the Picayune Memorial High School football stadium.

Sponsored by Kiwanis Club of Picayune, the event provides Pearl River County children and adults with disabilities an opportunity to participate in several track and field events. Participants in the daylong competition came from the local school districts, Bridgeway Apartments, ARC of Pearl River County, Brandi’s Hope and Millcreek of Magee.

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Tom Milar, president of Kiwanis Club of Picayune said there was an increase in volunteer participation to assist the Olympians.

He said their active participation included helping Olympians compete in events and ensured the events were carried out smoothly.

Milar said he is grateful to the Picayune and Pearl River Central School districts for allowing their students to assist the participants.

He said they are also looking at alternatives to more easily acquire parental release forms to increase participation in the upcoming years.

Alan Lumpkin, superintendent for Pearl River County School District, said he would like to thank the Kiwanis Club of Picayune for organizing a top-notch event each year and providing opportunities for students to volunteer.

“These students partner up with the Olympians to create bonds and friendships and help bring out their passion and love for competing,” Lumpkin said.

Each participant was provided with a T-shirt and hamburgers and hotdogs were available to athletes, coaches and buddies.

Participants from each event will move on to compete in the Area III Special Olympics held at NASA’s John C. Stennis Space Center on March 10.

Katherine Clough, Director of Area III Special Olympics, said every Olympian will have a fair chance to participate in that event through a lottery system.