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Sunday, September 18, 2016

Pelham 5K run benefits Nashua Special Olympics

By DEREK EDRY
Staff Writer

PELHAM – Community members hit the road Saturday for the ninth annual Pelham 5K to Benefit the Nashua Special Olympics.

Coinciding with Pelham’s 110th Old Home Day, the event raised money for and awareness of the Nashua organization that organizes and promotes athletics for people with developmental challenges. ...

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PELHAM – Community members hit the road Saturday for the ninth annual Pelham 5K to Benefit the Nashua Special Olympics.

Coinciding with Pelham’s 110th Old Home Day, the event raised money for and awareness of the Nashua organization that organizes and promotes athletics for people with developmental challenges.

“It costs approximately $40,000 a year to run our program,” said Diane Hammell, the local program coordinator for Nashua Special Olympics.

According to Hammell, last year the 5K event raised approximately $28,000. However, while funding is important, Hammell said, the organization’s greatest need is volunteers.

More than 300 people participated in the event this year – the winner was Cameron Starr of Pelham High School.

But everyone who got involved got something out of it, including the parents of the athletes.

Runner and active Nashua Special Olympics member Trevor Lavalla said that the Nashua Special Olympics helped him to get out of his comfort zone and have more fun.

“It felt really good,” Lavalla said.

Originally a track and field athlete, Lavalla now plays softball, basketball and golf with the Nashua Special Olympics; he also bowls and skis.

His mom can see what the program has done for him.

“It’s phenomenal. I mean, even the difference at home – drastic difference. It’s been wonderful for him,” said Lavalla’s mother, Sue.

Those interested in volunteering with the Nashua Special Olympics can learn more by visiting www.nashua
specialolympics.org.

Derek Edry can be reached at 594-6589, dedry@nashuatelegraph.com, or @Telegraph_Derek.