About 100 people took part in the annual Langley walkathon at the Walnut Grove Secondary School track Saturday to raise funds for the Special Olympics, most of them competitors like Langley resident Andrea Zonneveld.
Zonneveld, who estimated she has been competing in Special Olympics events for more than 20 years, currently lists track and field, softball and golf among her sports.
“Making good friends, meeting new people, volunteering,” are the attractions she listed when asked what she personally likes about the Special Olympics program.
“The thing is, for me, it’s like a second family.”
Zonneveld observed that she would like to see the program expanded, and the money raised by the walk will help.
It was the eighth annual walkathon and end-of-season barbecue by Langley Special Olympics, which represents some 200 athletes in 16 different sports – from swimming and basketball, to floor hockey and curling, and five-pin bowling to powerlifting .
Organizer Barry Wright said attendance was down “a little bit” from the usual 100 to 150 attendees, but he expected donations would likely remain between $8,000 and $9,000, the usual average for the event.
“The fundraising still comes in,” Wright said.
“There are still athletes who were unable to attend [the walkathon], who will bring in their fundraising sheets.”
Volunteer Tony Loynton was recognized for 30 years of service with Special Olympics at the event.
Special Olympics BC offers summer and winter sports for ages eight and up, youth programs for ages two to 18, a year-round fitness program, and athlete health initiatives.
Is there more to this story?