A big event that’s coming to Iowa got four-million dollar boost in the budget bill passed by Congress. Ames will host the first-ever national Special Olympics Summer Games in 2006. Iowa Special Olympics President Rich Fellingham says the House and the Senate each approved two million dollars for the event. He says the Special Olympics has always enjoyed non-partisian support in Congress and he says that was the case here too. He says Congress has supported the world games when they’ve been held in the U.S. and that’s why they asked for support of the first national games. Fellingham says they still have some fundraising to do. He says the full budget is 15-million — with six million of that is in-kind donations of facilities and services from Iowa State University and Ames. He says nine million has to be raised in cash and they’ve gotten 500-thousand dollars from the State of Iowa and with the four million they have half of what’s needed. He says they’ll get the rest from coroporations and sponsorships. Fellingham says getting the federal funding is important in fueling other donations. He says he’s sure that people in the private sector will come through with the money after seeing that the government has come up with half. Fellingham says the opening ceremonies for the games will be July 4th of 2006. He says there will be just under four-thousand athletes from all 50 states, along with about 15-hundred coaches, one thousand officials, 10 to 12-thousand families members and spectators. The event is over a year-and-a-half away, but Fellingham says the preparations are in full swing. He says there are several groups that’re working hard planning all the sports competition and the special events that surround the competition. Fellignham says they’re taking donations to help meet their goal, and you can donate by calling: 515-986-5520.
You are here: / / Speical Olympics National Games got budget boost from Congress