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Flag to be raised for first time in support of Special Olympics Orillia

This is more than a flag raising; 'It is all about inclusion and how important it is for our athletes to feel supported and be a part of community events'
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For the first time, the Special Olympics flag will fly in the city this year. Village Media File Photo
We are raising the flag to mark inclusiveness for all in sports and community. 

“The flag raising is important as it reflects our dedication and commitment to the athletes in our programs,” said Cathy O’Connor, community coordinator. “It is all about inclusion and how important it is for our athletes to feel supported and be a part of community events.”

The flag raising will be held at 11 a.m. at the Orillia Opera House on Monday, Nov. 25. Mayor Steve Clarke has been requested to join the athletes on the day to proclaim it as the annual Orillia Special Olympics day.

“We wanted to do this to make people aware of who we are and how much pride we have in our athletes and volunteers,” said O’Connor, adding that everyone is invited to come out and support our event and the athletes.

Special Olympics Orillia has athletes ranging from ages eight to 65 and older.

“All of them have some kind of intellectual disability,” she said. “But by being able to participate in 17 different sports through Special Olympics Orillia, they have a sense of achievement and accomplishment.”

And that is exactly what we hope to highlight and commend with the help of the community and this flag raising event, O’Connor added.

“All our sports are managed by volunteers, and we’re always looking for more to help at training sessions or by sponsoring an athlete going to provincial or national games next year,” she said.  

Those interested can use the handle @specialolympicsorillia to follow the registered charity on Instagram, Facebook or visit the website and learn more about the group.

For partnerships and general donations to support Special Olympics Orillia athletes, O’Connor can be reached at or at 705-238-7277.

“Businesses will receive tax receipts for any donations they make to the organization,” she said “And they will get the opportunity to put a priceless smile on the faces of our athletes.”

Special Olympics Orillia is a registered charity run by community volunteers with 36 volunteers/coaches, more than100 athletes ranging in age from eight years old to 80, training and participating in 17 core sports. Every facet of our community is dedicated to enriching the lives of people with intellectual disabilities.