Special Olympics Kaua‘i benefit ride rolls Sunday

The Special Olympics Kaua‘i will host its 9th Annual Special Olympics Kaua‘i Benefit Ride on Sunday, starting at 8:45 a.m. at the Kaua‘i War Memorial Convention Hall.

The annual event is co-sponsored by the County of Kaua‘i, Coca Cola Bottling of Kaua‘i and Kaua‘i Harley Davidson and will have participants registering from 8:45 to 9:45 a.m. with the convoy leaving the convention hall for the Westside at 10 a.m.

The convoy is open to motorcycles, hotrods, classic cars, imports and the general public with a minimum donation of $20 earning a commemorative shirt.

A silent auction will be taking place at the convention hall from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m. and lunch will be served from 11 a.m. until 1 p.m.

Special Olympic Kaua‘i athletes are selling tickets for Pau Hana Packs which include lau lau with butterfish, kalua pork and Portuguese sausage.

Pau Hana Pack tickets are $10 and pick up is from 9 a.m. to noon at the convention hall.

“Each year we enjoy watching hundreds of motorcycles and beautiful cars of all makes and models come out and ride in support of Special Olympics Kaua‘i,” said Shelly Gerardo of Special Olympics Kaua‘i in an e-mail. “This is our most popular event of the year and we invite everyone to either participate in the ride, or come down to see all of these beautiful machines in the same place at the same time while checking out the great offerings in the Silent Auction.”

Gerardo said registration forms are available at the Special Olympics Kaua‘i new Facebook page along with some pictures from last year’s event.

“We realize this is the same day as the Kaua‘i Marathon,” Gerardo said. “We typically would not schedule on the same day as another major event, but this is the only day the motorcycle and car clubs could participate. We are in close contact with the Kaua‘i Police Department officers to coordinate on road closures and traffic advisories.”

Special Olympics has grown over the past 40 years from a modest program serving local athletes to become the world’s largest movement dedicated to promoting respect, acceptance, inclusion and human dignity for people with intellectual disabilities through sports, states a Special Olympics release.

Special Olympics’ mission is to provide year-round sports training and athletic competition in a variety of Olympic-type sports for children and adults with intellectual disabilities, providing them continuing opportunities to develop physical fitness, demonstrate courage, experience joy and participate in a sharing of gifts, skills and friendship with their families, other Special Olympic athletes and the community.

Visit the Special Olympics Kaua‘i new page on Facebook and “Like” us, or call KPD Sgt. Ezra Kanoho for more information on the convoy at 241-1606. For more information on the Benefit Ride, call Gerardo at 639-3398. To volunteer for the event, or to enroll an athlete into the Special Olympics Kaua‘i program, call Jocelyn Barriga at 652-8662.

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