Yakima Special Olympics is perilously close to having to shutter their program to local competitors with disabilities and special needs.

The organization, which is run by volunteers so that participants and their families can compete at no cost, is in need of $35,000 to continue the program in Yakima.

What a shame it would be if sports, health, education and community building, that changes lives of people with intellectual disabilities were to end here. Speaking from first-hand experience, I have seen my wife's cousin, Nicole Campbell (pictured above), benefit greatly by competing in basketball and bowling through Special Olympics. I watched her and her team play at halftime of the Yakima SunKings game last week and I wish I had words to express the joy that I witnessed coming from that group of Special Olympians!

The good news? You can help! By making a donation to the team, you can know that it will help out a tremendous cause and stay right here in the Yakima Valley! As of this writing, SOWA.org has reached $1,195 of their $35k goal.

For further information, contact captain Shawna Lee.