Special Olympics Indiana – Ripley Ohio Dearborn Counties will be sending a four-person bowling team to compete in the 29th Annual Special Olympics National Unified Bowling Tournament. The tournament, hosted by Special Olympics North America and Special Olympics Nevada, will be held March 5-7, 2019 in Las Vegas in conjunction with the United States Bowling Congress (USBC) 116th Open Championships. The site of this year’s tournament is the bowling center at South Point Hotel and Casino.
The four-person team is comprised of two Special Olympics athletes – a senior at South Ripley High School, Alex Kieffer and Justin Broughton, both of Versailles, and their Unified Partners, a freshman at South Ripley High School, Abby Kieffer of Versailles and Scott Mattingly of Holton. The Kieffer siblings recently competed as members of Team Indiana at the 2018 USA Games of Special Olympics in Seattle back in July.
Special Olympics Unified Sports is a program that brings together athletes with and without intellectual disabilities (Unified Partners) of similar age and/or athletic ability to train and compete on the same sports teams. This program is continually expanding and offered in nearly all Special Olympics Indiana sports. The Unified four-person team competition will be held on Wednesday, March 5th and the Unified doubles competition on Thursday, March 6th. A bonus to this year’s event is a bowling clinic offered at the competition lanes.
On Saturday, January 19th from 5:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m. the local program will host an all-you-can-eat chicken dinner and dance to raise the funds necessary to cover the team’s accommodation and travel expenses. The fundraiser will be held at the Batesville Knights of Columbus hall located at 624 Delaware Road in Batesville. Dinner will be served until 8:00 p.m. and will offer freshly fried chicken by the Knights of Columbus, cheesy potatoes, California blend vegetables, seasoned green beans, rolls, tossed salad and homemade desserts. The cost is a “free-will” offering at the door and the Knights will offer a cash bar.
Donations to help send the four athletes to Las Vegas can be mailed to Special Olympics Indiana, 429 Manchester St., Aurora, IN 47001. Please make checks payable to Special Olympics Indiana with “National Bowling Tournament” written on the memo line.