By SCOTT MCKIE B.P.
ONE FEATHER STAFF
Cherokee will play host to the Far West Spring Games for the Special Olympics of North Carolina (SONC) on Friday, April 30 at the old Cherokee High School. Events will kick off with a parade of athletes at 9:45am followed by opening ceremonies and the start of competition.
“The Qualla Boundary Special Olympics program is excited and honored to be hosting the Far West Spring Games,” said Lana Lambert, Qualla Boundary SONC coordinator. “We want to welcome all the athletes, coaches, volunteers, and spectators to our community and to our games. We hope everyone has an enjoyable time. Good luck athletes!”
Lambert said they are expecting around 250 athletes from surrounding counties including: Clay, Cherokee, Graham, Jackson and Macon.
She said there will be numerous events and activities ranging from a tennis ball throw to an 800 meter dash as well as wheelchair events.
According to Lambert, there are 26 athletes signed up for the event from the Qualla Boundary program including: Mia Faye Lambert, Robert Kanott, Eddie Taylor, Tony Wolfe, Will Poolaw, Amber Beaushaw, Jonal McCarthy, Anthony Lansing, Jacee Smith, Gil Biello, Jennifer Roberts, Nicky Etters, Heather Quinn, Brandon Plemmons, Emily Roberson, Blair Sinnen, Dakota West, Drae Taylor, Daniel Tramper, Nathan Gaddis, Jeffrey Cox, John Watty, Destyni Johnson, Jimmy Welch, Gabby Majorado, and Da’Quan Jumper.
In other Special Olympics news, Gov. Beverly Perdue has announced that she will include $100,000 for SONC through the NC Dept. of Health and Human Services (NC DHHS) in the 2010-11 state budget.
“Given the current economic situation, we’re extremely appreciative to receive the Governor’s support in her budget,” said Keith L. Fishburne, president of SONC. “We hope to avoid complete elimination from the State budget and the Governor’s action gets us one step closer to continue receiving funds for our programs.”
According to SONC, the program has received funding from the NC DHHS since 2004-05.