Ferris State University Holds First Walk-A-Thon Benefiting Special Olympics

“I do think awareness can be improved and that’s what we’re trying to do with our club.”

Students and athletes spent an afternoon walking laps around the Ferris State track to raise money for an organization close to their hearts.

Saturday was the first Special Olympics College Club Walk-A-Thon at Ferris State University.

The student organization put on the event to raise money for the Area 5 Special Olympics.

“These athletes don’t often have a place to go a lot of the time, so they turn to Special Olympics,” Walk-A-Thon leader Jared Ozella said.

Special Olympics Michigan is an organization that means a great deal to many people.

The walk-a-thon raised more than $650.

“We really enjoying doing fundraisers for Area 5 Special Olympics. We have a really close involvement with them,” Ozella said.

Ozella says the athletes have been taking donations leading up to the event and the winner gets to head to the Motor City.

“Whoever raises the most money will actually win four Tigers tickets to an upcoming game as well,” he said.

Most of the athletes we talked to said they planned on walking around the track the entire event and every time they complete a lap they got to ring a bell.

“Ferris is like family to us. We go to all their events and when we have a chance to come, we do events, they have a chance, their practices to watch us play too, so it’s like a family community here in Big Rapids,” says Special Olympics athlete representative, Nick Borders.

And that community spirit is what motivates the organization.

“Showing them that inclusion in the Ferris population is something I think they really appreciate and that the reason we want to keep doing this,” Ozella said.

To donate to Area 5 Special Olympics, click here.