Hope Association to host fundraiser to revive Special Olympics program

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RUMFORD — The Hope Association will be hosting a fundraiser on Jan. 25 at 85 Lincoln Ave. in an attempt to re-establish the group’s Special Olympics program.

The fundraiser will be free and open to the public, though donations will be accepted. Joe Sirois, the former executive director of the Hope Association, will be playing music at the fundraiser under the moniker “Joe the Music Man.”

“He has a huge collection of music,” Johnson said. “I’m talking hundreds and hundreds of CDs from every era that you can think of. He’s very popular in the community.”

Popcorn and soda will be available for $1 each. Johnson said any money made from the fundraiser will go toward trying to get the Special Olympics program for the Hope Association running again.

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“It’s been about five or six years since we’ve done the program,” Johnson said. “We still do the same activities with clients that we did in the program. In lieu of calling it Special Olympics, we just do the activities themselves.” 

Johnson pointed out that clients of the Hope Association still participate in hiking clubs and go swimming at the pools in Farmington, but with the revival of the Special Olympics program, people will take more notice.

Johnson said that the Hope Association is turning to a variety of other fundraisers to help revive the Special Olympics program, including a winter fashion show for the What Not Shop on Friday, Jan. 18, and the Hope Association’s annual ride-in on Feb. 10, where the clients have an opportunity to ride on the backs of snowmobiles.

“It’s not necessarily the fundraising that makes the ride-in so important,” Johnson said. “It’s the way the clubs and residents come together to help. The ride-in is the only time our clients get around in the winter besides inside of a car.” 

She laughed and added, “They’re able to get that snowmobile smell on them.”

mdaigle@sunjournal.com

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