Special Olympics fundraiser to feature exotic animals from Zoo’Opolis


Exotic animals will be the highlight of an upcoming fundraiser for Special Olympics Indiana Jackson County.

Zoo’Opolis Exotic Petting World in Columbus will bring some of its animals to the event, set for 6 to 8 p.m. Aug. 25 at Harmony Park next to The Brooklyn Pizza Co. and The Seymour Brewing Co., 753 W. Second St., Seymour.

The cost is $5 per person, and all proceeds will benefit the local Special Olympics program, which was revived earlier this year to offer sports opportunities to children and adults with intellectual disabilities.

Zoo’Opolis is an educational, hands-on interactive zoo that includes more than 100 animals and 40 different species, and half of the animals are rescues, according to the organization’s website.

Chadd Rogers, a member of the Special Olympics county management team, helped organize a Project Lifesaver fundraiser earlier this year featuring Zoo’Opolis that raised more than $1,000.

“We received a lot of positive feedback from the Project Lifesaver fundraiser and thought it would work well for Special Olympics,” he said. “Zoo’Opolis does an incredible job bringing a good variety of animals to the fundraiser, and they make it a real hands-on experience.”

This type of fundraiser is beneficial because it exposes people to Zoo’Opolis and what it has to offer and encourages people to visit its Columbus location, and it also gets the word out about Special Olympics in Jackson County.

“By having this event, we are hoping that the community is aware that Jackson County does have a Special Olympics program,” Rogers said.

At the event, information will be available for individuals who want to be athletes and applications for people who wish to volunteer.

The county management team works year-round to do fundraising so the athletes don’t have to pay anything to participate in Special Olympics.

The county’s first sports offering is softball, and that team will compete in sectional today in Corydon.

There also is a unified fitness club that meets from 6 to 7 p.m. Thursdays at the Boys & Girls Club of Seymour. On the first Thursday of each month, Anytime Fitness trainers visit the club to lead fitness activities.

The fundraiser also will have rock painting with Unlocking the Spectrum, face painting, cornhole and live music.

“The goal of the fundraiser is to raise awareness about the program and also obtain funds that will help send the athletes to their games,” Rogers said.

He said the county management team appreciates the support of Unlocking the Spectrum, Zoo’Opolis and Shawn Malone with The Brooklyn Pizza Co. and The Seymour Brewing Co. for making the event possible.

Special Olympics Indiana is a nonprofit organization that provides year-round sports training and athletics competition in more than 20 Olympic-type sports. Other local sports opportunities will be announced by the county management team as the seasons approach.

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What: Special Olympics Indiana Jackson County fundraiser

When: 6 to 8 p.m. Aug. 25

Where: Harmony Park next to The Brooklyn Pizza Co. and The Seymour Brewing Co., 753 W. Second St., Seymour

Cost: $5 (all proceeds will benefit the local Special Olympics program)

Features: Zoo’Opolis Exotic Petting World will have exotic animals for people to see up close, Unlocking the Spectrum will offer rock painting for children and adults and there also will be face painting, cornhole and live music

Information: Email [email protected] or visit facebook.com/jacksoncountyspecialolympics


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