Ferris’ men’s and women’s basketball teams will participate in the 17th annual charity Heart-to-Heart, Hand-in-Hand Unified Special Olympics Benefit Game.
The main goal of this activity is to raise money for Area 5 Special Olympics and the 69 special athletes it supports in the counties of Osceola and Mecosta, as well as to forge relationships with all the athletes.
The Ferris State student athletes will divide into two competing teams made up of local Special Olympics Area 5 athletes as well as Bulldog men’s and women’s players. The game will be played in front of Ferris State supporters and students for the 17th year.
The sports communication program, in collaboration with the Special Olympics College Club, is funding the event as part of its end-of-year charity in honor of the Area 5 Special Olympians.
To play for fun and glory and to generate money to support Special Olympians from the area to attend Special Olympics competitions in Michigan and the region, Special Olympians will mix with men and women from Ferris State’s basketball squads.
Ferris junior Sean Snead, the sports careers Registered Student Organization vice president, thinks the game is a chance to bring Big Rapids together.
“The game is something that brings the entire Big Rapids community together. The smiles on the faces of the players is why we put this event together,” Snead said.
Snead talks about how they are trying to make the game look different as well.
“The game itself is going to look very similar, but we are brainstorming ideas for in-game activities,” Snead said. “We are going to use the new video boards to display the rosters for the teams.”
Snead encourages everyone to come and show their support for Area 5 as they would for a regular game. Snead and the rest of the sports careers RSO and the student athletes want to create an electric atmosphere for these students to remember.
The event has served as a way for the Area 5 Special Olympians, who often attend Ferris State athletic events, to interact and join the players on the court and physically be part of a team. It gives Special Olympians an opportunity to be in the spotlight and play alongside the Bulldog athletes they watch and follow all season long.