Last year, I wrote the newspaper with the same concern about the lack of support Winnebago County shows for the special children who participate each year in the Special Olympics. These athletes have been practicing and planning for this day for months, but due to the possibility of bad weather we have cancelled for the third year.

Didn’t the county learn from the last disappointment? Don’t bid and ask for the event if you cannot guarantee success or strategies for implementation. If this had been a school event, it would have been rescheduled and readvertised, but we can take last year’s score and send the same special athletes back to state. What about the athletes who didn’t participate last year or might not have the chance to participate next year? Is this a solution you would use for all athletes or athletic events?

These athletes and their families have a lot to be proud of as they are challenged and rewarded each day. Shouldn’t we as a community support and celebrate those achievements as often as we celebrate other children or student-centered events in our community? Our community needs to embrace these athletes and recognize their triumphs as they would any child or student living in Forest City. These gifted athletes are made a little bit more special but their efforts are twice as meaningful.

If we can’t guarantee hosting the event outdoors, why aren’t we looking for places to host indoors within Winnebago County? Why aren’t we looking for solutions with the same spirit as our special athletes use each and every day!

Kyle and Brenda Hanna

Forest City

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