By Johnny Jackson
Volunteers are expected in full force Saturday, during the annual "Share the Joy" Day, to raise money in support of Special Olympics Henry County.
"We'll have our 'Share the Joy' buckets and posters out on different intersections in Henry County," said Terry Nash, coordinator of the Henry County Parks and Recreation Department's Therapeutic Division.
Nash said the 23-year-old Special Olympics Henry County Program, and its 30 volunteers, have hosted "Share the Joy" for about the past 15 years, in the one-day fund-raising effort, to supplement program costs.
"In the past, we've done fairly well that day," she said.
The money raised, Nash added, goes toward expenses incurred by the program's roughly 150 children and adults, who participate in six state competitions each year.
"We add special needs families almost weekly," Nash said. "We raise between $3,000 and $5,000 each year. That will help pay for transportation and registration to these competitions. Any donations will be welcomed, and used throughout the year."
The therapeutic coordinator noted that more than 70 athletes with Special Olympics Henry County will participate in the Special Olympics Georgia Winter Games, in Cobb County, in January.
"Special Olympics just allows athletes to compete," Nash continued. "They're doing more than just staying at home and wishing they had something to do."
Nash noted that one such athlete is 31-year-old Erin Hoffman, of McDonough, who will compete in Greece next year. "Because of her involvement in Special Olympics Henry County, she [Hoffman] is able to go to the World Games in Greece in 2011, participating in aquatics," Nash said.
She said volunteers will be at various Henry County intersections collecting donations for Special Olympics, Saturday, from 9 a.m., until 2 p.m.
To learn more about supporting, or volunteering for, Special Olympics Henry County, contact the Locust Grove Recreation Center, 10 Cleveland St., in Locust Grove, by phone at (770) 288-7290. Or visit the Henry County Parks and Recreation Department web site at www.hcprd.org.