Provided by Dana Carr
Laura Collins has seen what Special Olympics Florida can do for a person with intellectual disabilities.
“There’s not just an increase in physical fitness and good health,” said Collins, director of the Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics Florida. “There’s an increase in self-esteem and self-worth. It helps you become a contributing member of society.”
The Florida International Air Show recognizes the impact Special Olympics Florida has had on the 54,000 who participate in the program and will again support the effort through its 5K run, to be held Nov. 2 at Punta Gorda Airport.
In its third year, the 5K run is open to all. The event is set to go off at 7:30 a.m. Registration is $40 until noon Nov. 1. Registration includes one general admission ticket to the show. First-, second- and third-place medals will be awarded in men’s and women’s divisions. The first 300 registrants will receive a participant medal.
“The Air Show is excited to include the Special Olympics Florida 5K with this year’s activities,” said Dana Carr, president of the Air Show board. “This is a special event to benefit some special people.”
Special Olympics is the world’s largest sports organization for children and adults with intellectual disabilities and physical disabilities, providing year-round training and competitions to five million athletes in 172 countries.
“We provide year-round training for children and adults with intellectual disabilities in 22 sports at no cost to the participant or the family,” Collins said. “That’s why these fundraisers are so important to the mission and future of Special Olympics Florida.”
The Air Show, in its 39th year, is scheduled for Nov. 1-3 at the Punta Gorda Airport. The Air Force Thunderbirds demonstration jet squadron will be featured among many jaw-dropping aeronautical acts.
The 5K run, which will be held on the airport’s runways, has attracted support from the Charlotte County Sheriff’s Office, which also takes part in the Law Enforcement Torch Run, the largest grass-roots fundraising movement for Special Olympics.
“All around the world, Special Olympics has a formidable and caring legion of protectors and supporters in the law-enforcement community,” said Major Michael Anderson of the Charlotte County Sheriff’s Office. He is the Region III coordinator for the Law Enforcement Torch Run. … “We provide opportunities for athletes to empower and transform themselves, their communities and the world.”
For more information on the 5K and the Air Show, go to www.floridaairshow.com.