Community comes together for Special Olympic Oregon meeting

MEDFORD, Ore. —  More than a dozen athletes, families, and volunteers from Jackson County’s Special Olympics were at a town hall meeting Tuesday night in Medford.

The leaders apologized for the organization’s issues with financial stability after years of trouble. They said the organization needs to do right by it’s vendors and people who have always loved and supported the Special Olympics Oregon. Additionally, that in this difficult period, it’s important for everyone to come together to work towards a brighter future.

It was a discussion that for many present, felt long overdue.

“This is the first time they’ve come to talk to us about this and give us the reality of what has happened and also…it gives us an idea of their heart,” said Carol Reher, Coach for Special Olympics Oregon. “They’re not any different than we are, they’re just on different levels…”

The leaders say their top priority right now is fundraising.

That’s so the organization can get out of debt and rebuild something sustainable. Again, leaders apologized for not only cancelling games, but how that information was conveyed to the community.

They realize it was painful for many to hear.

Right now, the leaders say they’re in the process of looking for the right funding model for the long-term and hoping to rebuild relationships with supporters of the organization.

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