PITTSBURG — Medicalodges donated $10,000 to Special Olympics Kansas Monday, to keep competitions and events going in Crawford County.

Medicalodges has had a Special Olympics team in the state for over 30 years — the fourth-longest of any one group in Kansas — according to Special Olympics Kansas President and CEO John Lair. Medicalodges presented Special Olympics Kansas with a check for $10,000, through the Southeast Region of the Special Olympics Kansas Law Enforcement Torch Run, Thursday.

“Medicalodges has had a team for a long time, and now through New Hope Services they have had a team for many years,” Lair said. “We’re really looking forward to this continued partnership with them.”

Lair said the money will be used for events in Crawford County and specifically Pittsburg.

“We’ll use this money to buy medals, meals, t-shirts,” Lair said. “Basically everything we need to keep events happening here in Pittsburg and Southeast Kansas.”

Medicalodges is the parent company of New Hope Services, which includes the New Hope Bulldogs Special Olympics team. The team has seen plenty of success over the years, recently with two members going to Austria to compete in the World Winter Games.

Lair said two members will be going to the Summer Games in Seattle Washington next year. New Hope has about 80 team members on its roster spanning many different events.

The Law Enforcement Torch Run was created in Wichita in 1981 as a way for law enforcement to stay connected with the community and Special Olympics Kansas. Officers and Special Olympics athletes carry the torch to the opening ceremony of state, regional, national and even world events.

Medicalodges donated the $10,000 to Special Olympics Kansas through the local Law Enforcement Torch Run officers.

— Chance Hoener is a staff writer for the Morning Sun. He can be emailed at choener@morningsun.net or follow him on Twitter @ReporterChance.