Weatherford Democrat

Viewpoints

September 24, 2012

Letters to the editor, Sunday, Sept. 23

— Special Roos need support

Dear editor,

There are a group of students in the Weatherford Independent School District called The Weatherford Special Roos. The Special Roos are composed of students in the Special Education Program that, because of both physical and mental handicaps, are unable to compete in the regular sports programs of the WISD. They get no monetary support from the school system, and practice on their own time after school. Parents have to furnish transportation to and from practice and sports events. There are students in the Special Education system that would like to participate and cannot because both parents work, and because of the cost of transportation cannot attend practice after school.

The Weatherford Special Roos is the Weatherford Delegation of the Special Olympics Texas and compete in regional competition. Last year, they competed in the State Olympics at Austin, and will attend again this year. The bowling team has been invited to the National Special Olympics in Reno, Nev. These kids have done the people of their city and school system proud. They are winners and deserve our support. It is going to cost approximately $15,000 for these students and their coaches and chaperones to attend the Texas Special Olympics and the National Olympics. If anyone cares to make a donation to help these kids, please send a check made out to “Weatherford Special Roos” and mail to: Weatherford special Roos c/o Regina Harris, 105 Pawnee Trail, Weatherford, TX 76087. For more information, call 817-598-8068.

My grandson is a Weatherford Special Roo, and is in high school this year. He is a big, strapping kid, has Down Syndrome and mentally is somewhere between 3 and 5 years of age. But, he knows one thing for sure, and that is he is a “Kangaroo.” He received a Kangaroo cap for his birthday and takes it off only when he goes to bed. He is on the bowling team, and I attended their practice last week in Fort Worth, as there is no alley in Weatherford. It is unbelievable how excited these kids can get, even if they knock down only one pin. These kids have varying disabilities, some appear normal, and some are barely mobile, but all have one thing in common, and that is the desire to compete. Please help, they need and will appreciate it.

Don Johnson,

Weatherford

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