PITTSBURG — Local gas stations are giving the community an opportunity to help the kids of the Special Olympics, and get a reward in the process.

Recently, Casey's announced it will be offering special paper icons for sale for just $1. Purchasers will be able to sign their name, and hang the wall in their stores to benefit the Special Olympics.

They will be given a coupon for $2 off a future pizza, and soda purchase as a thank you from Casey's.

According to Special Olympics of Kansas representative, Erin Fletcher, funds raised from the campaign are important to the organization.

"This is a big fundraiser for us, and it makes a big difference." she said

Fletcher explained the funds raised help to pay for health screenings, track meets, and equipment, as well as additional services for the athletes and their families.

Although critical, the importance goes beyond the dollar amounts for Fletcher.

"People can sign their name to these, and Casey's displays them," she said. "It allows the local athletes to feel included in the community, and the community to visibly show their support."

The inclusion factor is a big one to Special Olympics, which will celebrate their 50th anniversary this year.

"Special Olympics really wants to create an environment where kids get a feeling of belonging, in their community, and with their peers." Fletcher said.

A spirit she feels continues from the athletes to their families who benefit from interacting with other families with similar lives.

"We find that families get a lot of support from each other, and that's very important when facing challenges."

The Casey's program features artwork of the special Olympics partnership with law enforcement, the Torch Run, a program Fletcher is proud of.

"The Pittsburg Police Department has been very supportive of the Special Olympics, and that is a big help." she said. "We're very grateful for them being so involved."

 

According to a release on the Casey's website the company fundraising goal for this event is one million dollars. Casey's will also be celebrating their 50th anniversary this year.

 

The icons, and coupons will be available for purchase at all Casey's locations through the end of June.