Knights of Columbus barbecues for gold medal

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JEFFERSON CITY — The Jefferson City Knights of Columbus hosted a barbecue fundraiser for the country's first Special Olympics training facility to be built in Missouri's capital next year.

"The Knights of Columbus and Special Olympics have been partners in a master partnership for the last 10 years, so it's a constant relationship," Pat Schaefer, one of the barbecue organizers, said. "They bring athletes in, even to talk, and it's a pretty heartwarming thing whenever the athlete tells you they need money instead of an adult."

$5 million is the fundraising goal for the Special Olympics training center.

"The Training for Life facility is a one of a kind facility, it's the first one in the United States," Schaefer said. "Not only will it be an athletic entrepreneurial adventure, they will have health care and everything for the athletes."

Schaefer said the Special Olympics has had trouble getting athletes to clinics. The Training for Life facility would give them a place to train every week of the year.

"It'll be a facility that'll be on 14 acres that was donated by a local company to the Special Olympics," Schaefer said.

He said the Missouri Knights of Columbus have pledged $1 million toward the facility. The barbecue is bringing the organization one step closer to that goal.

Rita Kay is the wife of one Knights of Columbus member. She says the high turnout of the barbecue fundraiser shows how much the community cares.

"I think this morning they even had starting out 75 pre-orders to deliver this morning, so that's great," Kay said.

For more opportunities to donate to the facility, visit the Special Olympics Missouri website.

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