Dream Riders meet, greet Special Olympics athletes
LITTLE SWITZERLAND – Athletes from the Mitchell County and McDowell County Special Olympics braved a rainy afternoon Monday, Aug. 19, to welcome the Dream Riders to Little Switzerland.
The Dream Riders, which are bikers committed to celebrating the achievements of Special Olympics athletes and their willingness to persevere while overcoming challenges and stereotypes, were greeted with smiles, hugs and bright signs.
The Dream Riders donated $10,000 to the two local programs. Mitchell County will use its half of the donation to help fund its equestrian, bowling, bocce and powerlifting teams.
The Dream Ride rally left the PGA National Resort and Spa in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida, Saturday, Aug. 17, marking the beginning of a seven-day, 2,000-mile trek to Connecticut.
At each of their scheduled visits, the Dream Riders stop for lunch or to spend the night and local Special Olympics programs are invited to welcome the riders to their community.
Several of the local Special Olympics athletes personally thanked the Dream Riders for their contributions. In addition to their signs and cheers, most took time to talk to each rider.
“They really make a difference in our program,” said Special Olympics athlete Diana Buchanan.
Mitchell County Special Olympics Coordinator Sarah Hobart said the Dream Riders contributions, in addition to grants from Bozzuto Foods Inc. and the Hometown Foundation, help make Special Olympics sports possible.
“The Dream Riders and our athletes have developed friendships over the years, and they greet each other as old friends,” Hobart said. “These men and women help fund a portion of several of the sports we offer our 55 athletes in Mitchell County.”