Sharon Dueck is the head coach of the Winkler Wizzards adult gym program for Special Olympics, and they have a special event coming up on Monday (May 6). 

"On Monday we’ve got our whole club out on the pathway at Winkler Elementary School. We're doing a walkathon, and with May being Pay It Forward month, our athletes have decided they will raise money to go towards purchasing some equipment for their weekly elementary school gym program.” 

Dueck says that they have been very fortunate. They started the Winkler Special Olympics club in 1986, and at that time approached Winkler Elementary School to see if they could use the facility. They have now been using that facility for 39 years.  

“It's just so nice to know that we've got a gym, we've got supportive staff, we've got supportive community that values our program and wants us to use their facility. Our athletes receive so much from the community, and they love to be able to give back.” 

Winkler wizzards walkathon

If people want to donate to support the Winkler Wizzard’s Pay It Forward initiative, Dueck encourages people to stop by with a monetary donation.  

"Feel free to stop by on Monday at the Winkler Elementary School grounds. And we'll be there from 6:30 to 7:30. And if you've got some loose change you'd like to drop off, come. Drop off some change and cheer our guys on.” 

Dueck says their walkers are always excited about this event, and all are welcome to come by to encourage the walkers as they keep moving around the track for one hour. 

"If anybody would like to come and join us and walk with us and chat, that would be great. If you don't feel up to walking just to come by, give some high fives at a corner of the pathway, or honk your horn when you drive by, so they know that you see them walking." 

Dueck expresses gratitude to the community for continuing to show their athlete's tremendous support, whether it be financially or through words of kindness. 

“Our athletes appreciate being a part of Winkler. Pay It Forward month gives them an opportunity to give back to somebody else. It's such a wonderful feeling for everybody, regardless of our abilities. We all want to be a part of something, and so thank you so much for allowing Special Olympics to be a part of our Winkler community and that our athletes can feel so accepted here.” 

Cheer on the athletes walking the Winkler Elementary School track on Monday (May 6) from 6:30-7:30. 

Click below for the full interview with Sharon Dueck and Connie Bailey. 

Winkler wizzards walkathonWalkers receive a reward sticker with every lap.