Special Olympics hosts ‘Treats and Trails’

Jonathan Riley
Morning Sun
Tera Krantz and her daughter Chloe Riska sign up for the Special Olympics Kansas Treats and Trails event on Wednesday, June 23.

PITTSBURG, Kan. — Special Olympics athletes and their supporters gathered Wednesday morning at Watco Trailhead Park on North Broadway for a “Treats and Trails” event. 

Erin Fletcher, director of grants and development with Special Olympics Kansas, said one of the goals of the event was to familiarize Special Olympics athletes with the local trail system. 

“So that say they want to go to the farmers’ market, they know where the farmers’ market is at,” Fletcher said. “Or if they want to get to 4th Street, they know how to do that using the trails.” 

Local organizations also supported the event, however, by providing the “treats” component of Treats and Trails at stops along the Watco Trail. “So everything from games to healthy treats,” Fletcher said. 

Supporting organizations included Wesley House, Community Health Center of Southeast Kansas, the Knights of Columbus, and Avalon Hospice. The Treats and Trails program is made possible through a grant from the Sunflower Foundation. 

While this is the first time Special Olympics Kansas has hosted a Treats and Trails event in Southeast Kansas, Fletcher said, it won’t be the last. Another one is planned for the fall. 

Tera Krantz and her daughter Chloe, who goes to Pittsburg Community Middle School, attended Wednesday’s event, even though they aren’t Special Olympics athletes.  

“In the past I've worked as a special education para, but in recent years I haven’t,” Krantz said. “But it’s close to our hearts, so I thought it would be good to come out and be active with it.” 

Although the Treats and Trails event was geared toward Special Olympics athletes themselves, Fletcher said, community support is always welcome. 

“We like to support local events in our community, and Special Olympics is really important to us,” Krantz said, “so I thought we’d come out and support that.”