By Jason A. Smith
A first-time event is coming to McDonough, Saturday, to raise money for a unique group of Henry County athletes.
The In Between Fling, sponsored by the Henry County Parks and Recreation Department, will be held from 9 a.m., to 5 p.m., at the Jason T. Harper Event Center, to benefit Special Olympics. The center is located at 95 Lake Dow Road in McDonough.
Terry Nash, therapeutic coordinator for the Parks and Recreation Department and coordinator of the In Between Fling, said she hopes the event will raise $3,000.
"All proceeds will go toward our Special Olympics program," Nash said. "We go to six or seven different competitions a year, and we take between 60 and 70 athletes to every competition. Our goal is to never have to tell an athlete that they can't come because of a lack of funds."
Activities during the occasion, she continued, will include crafts and a community business expo.
"There will be some kid's games, inflatables, a petting zoo, and a silent auction with items donated by vendors," Nash added.
The concept for the In Between Fling came from a Special Olympics volunteer, Nelda Hagelthorn of McDonough. She said the event's name comes from her desire to hold a community gathering between Christmas and summer.
She said when her 24-year-old daughter, Brittney, became a participant in the program nine years ago, there were approximately 20 athletes involved in Special Olympics locally.
"It's grown to over 100 now," Hagelthorn said. "We just want to raise money for uniforms and equipment. They're going to competition at Emory [University] in May. When we go, we would like to look presentable. We would like to purchase uniforms for three of our football teams."
For more details on the In Between Fling, call the Parks and Recreation Department at (770) 288-7300.