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Local people, businesses Step Up for S.O.

Despite one of the rainiest days in recent memory, approximately 50 people and 10 dogs ventured to Mark O. Hatfield State Park on Oct. 11 for the third-annual Step Up for Special Olympics event.

Coordinated by Carole Schmidt, the annual fundraiser brought in close to $4,500 for Mid Columbia Special Olympics, which sponsors numerous sports throughout the year, including bowling, which is currently underway.

“The athletes who attended had a great time, and the support from the community was greatly appreciated by all,” Schmidt said. “We were very pleased with the response, and the money raised should help fund most of the sports in the next year.”

Schmidt thanked a long list of sponsors that included Seaborn Engineering, Windermere Real Estate, Les Schwab Tires, Columbia River Bank, Sprint, State Farm Insurance, U.S. Bank, G. Williker’s Toy Shoppe, Sprint, Wal-Mart and Gorge Dog.

“Gorge Dog has been with us since the beginning,” she said, “and a few others offered their support for the first time.”

Among the winners of the three races — 5K/10K run/walk, Doggie Dash and Kids on Wheels — were Steve Shepardson and his dog “Sid,” (1st, Doggie Dash 10K); Maggie Murdoch and “Rainie” (1st, Doggie Dash 5K), Terra Mickelson (1st, Kids on Wheels); Kaipo and Kendra Raiser (1st, 5K run), Rick Jones (1st, 10K run), Jay Johnston (1st, 5K walk), and Analinda Orlickas, who was the first Special Olympian to finish the Doggie Dash.

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