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Special Olympics honors coaches and supporters
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Special Olympics of Forsyth County recognized 35 coaches and 50 sponsors during A Night of Sweets N Thanks on Friday at Central Park. - photo by For the FCN

CUMMING -- Special Olympics of Forsyth County honored its coaches and community supporters Friday during “A Night of Sweets ‘N Thanks” at the Central Park Recreation Center.

Annemarie Raygor, publicity chairwoman for the organization, said the event was a great success.

“It went really well,” she said. “We had about 150 people there.”

The main purpose of the evening, she said, was for the athletes to have a chance to express their gratitude to coaches and other supporters of the program, which provides a wide range of athletic and social opportunities for students and adults with special needs.

Raygor said in 2013, some 35 Special Olympics-certified coaches led teams in sports such as basketball, softball, golf and bocce ball.

“It’s amazing to know that just six years ago, we only had two certified coaches and now we’re up to 35,” she said. “It’s a lot of time invested by all of them … and some of them do not even have kids with special needs, they just do this because they really enjoy it.”

Awards were also presented to about 50 sponsors who provided monetary or other support in 2013.

Athletes showed their support through a dance performance and a video, in which some athletes were interviewed about what Special Olympics means to them.

“There were also a lot of desserts and socializing,” said Raygor, noting that the local organization is a lot like a family.

“We’re a real close-knit group,” she said. “Everybody is very friendly with each other and … that makes it a lot of fun.”