By RORYE O’CONNOR
MT. VERNON —
Local support of the JC Jets Special Olympics sports teams will continue with the third annual raffle at Bubba’s in Bonnie.
The event will be held today, beginning at 6 p.m., said Janet Dent, Bubba’s co-owner.
The raffle will be for a gun or $500 in cash, and two bands, Custom Made and Lisa’s Boys, will play country, rock and blues beginning at 7 p.m., Dent said.
There will also be a 50/50 drawing, free sloppy Joes and nachos, and a meat raffle featuring pork, ham, bacon and pork loin.
Linda Krikie, teams manager, said the JC Jets continue to grow “by leaps and bounds.”
In its third year, the Special Olympics team of adults has two basketball teams, two softball teams, a “huge” group of track and field athlete and a good-sized bowling league, Krikie said.
The club started with 13 athletes and one coach and has expanded to almost 70 athletes, seven coaches and numerous volunteers, she said.
The JC Jets now have non-profit status, Krikie said, which came about with the help from local lawyer Matt Flanagan.
“It’s been marvelous,” she said. “(Athletes) also do work with the Lions Club, the Knights of Columbus and the Lifeboat Alliance. We’re trying to give back to the community as much as it gives to us.”
Krikie said the community gives to the group not only through events like today’s raffle, but through bake sales, car washes and dinners to raise money for the team.
She said the group plans to host another bake sale near Easter, and that last year’s event was very successful.
“We just need the community to stand behind us and help sponsor us,” she said. “We will always need sponsors, because we are completely self-funded. Any support is a big help.”
Basketball season has begun for the JC Jets basketball teams, Krikie added; the B team had its first victory against Brownsville School in Carmi, scoring 40-16. The A team’s first game is scheduled for Dec. 15.