Local News

Special Olympics Needs 35,000 Volunteers

Posted April 13, 1998 7:00 a.m. EDT

— The 1999 Special Olympic World Games are just over a year away. You can make sure the largest sporting event ever held in the Triangle is a success by becoming a volunteer.

With 7,000 athletes from more than 150 countries competing in the Triangle, organizing the World Summer Games is an ambitious project. But it can;t happen without the help of thousands of volunteers.

A group of Special Olympics athletes and volunteers wants you to join their team. Monday, they launched a recruitment campaign for the 1999 World Summer Games from the steps of the Capitol. Governor Hunt was one of the first volunteers to sign on. The games will require the largest volunteer work force ever assembled in North Carolina for a single event.

"We need carpenters, computer experts, electricians, teachers, medical personnel, security officers," Hunt explains. "The list goes on and on."

Pat Linthicum decided to volunteer after watching the Special Olympics on television. Organizers need to find 35,000 more people like her to pull off the largest sporting event of 1999.

"It's important because it wouldn't happen without volunteers," Linthicum says. "It's important that people understand that it takes as little time as you want to give, or as much. Every little bit helps."

Terrance Walker knows the value of volunteering. He'll compete in his third Special Olympics next year. He'll also work the World Games as a volunteer:

"It's a chance to help other people and give back to the community."

The number to call if you want to volunteer for the Special Olympics is1-888-767-1999. Remember, organizers need 35,000 volunteers to pull off the World Summer Games here in Raleigh, and they'd love to hear from you. As an extra incentive, Governor Hunt is offering to give state employees a day off if they use their time to volunteer.