Knights help Cahaba Special Olympians

Published 9:35 pm Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Knights of Columbus grand knight Corey Bowie presents Cahaba Center for Mental Health Barbra McCord a $4,000 donation.

Knights of Columbus grand knight Corey Bowie presents Cahaba Center for Mental Health Barbra McCord a $4,000 donation.

Statewide Special Olympic events are just around the corner. Cahaba Center for Mental Health athletes will be able to attend the three-day event in Troy with the help of a generous donation from the Knights of Columbus.

On Wednesday, the knights presented the Cahaba Center with a $4,000 check.

“It’s just a great gift. We use it toward our Special Olympic events, and this is something our clients look forward to every year,” said Barbra McCord, Cahaba Center Dallas Day Training Center coordinator.

The Knights of Columbus is a national Catholic fraternity. Its mission is to provide mutual aid and assistance to sick, disabled or needy community members as well as to promote social and intellectual fellowship. The local chapter is hosted through Our Lady Queen of Peace Parrish.

Grand knight Corey Bowie said the fraternity donates to the center annually. The amount varies each year, but donations generally range from $4,000 to $7,000.

“It really makes a big difference,” said deputy knight Paul Robitaille.

McCord said although the center has a local Special Olympics in early April, the donation will be primarily used toward the expenses for the state tournament. She estimated between 40-50 athletes will be traveling to the event in May.

“This is really a big help,” McCord said. “We appreciate the Knights of Columbus because they always help us out.”

the money is collected through fundraisers. Twice weekly game nights are the primary source of revenue.

Cahaba Center athletes keep the excitement alive as they train year-long for the annual event.

“They get hyped up from one year to the next. When one is over, they start on the next one,” McCord said. “It’s just a big thrill for them. You wouldn’t believe how excited they are.”

The state event begins on a Friday evening with an opening ceremony.

On Saturday, the athletes will compete in various events such as track and field, softball throws, distance kick and others.

On the third day, the event will conclude with a closing ceremony.

McCord said participants get to stay in the university dorms, which adds to the experience.

Bowie said it’s a pleasure for the knights to contribute to the center every year.

“This is one of the court missions of the Knights of Columbus to help agencies like this,” he said.