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Dodge City Daily Globe - Dodge City, KS
  • Special athletes to meet Harlem Globetrotters

  •      When Tammy and Lawrence Lampe saw that The Original Harlem Globetrotters were scheduled to perform at the United Wireless Arena next month, they knew they wanted to take their son, Trevor. Then they realized that it would be a great event for their son's team, The Dodge City Dodgers to attend, also.


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  •      When Tammy and Lawrence Lampe saw that The Original Harlem Globetrotters were scheduled to perform at the United Wireless Arena next month, they knew they wanted to take their son, Trevor. Then they realized that it would be a great event for their son's team, The Dodge City Dodgers to attend, also.
         The Dodge City Dodgers are made up of approximately 90 athletes who are identified as having either intellectual or physical disabilities. Lampe said they love being involved in community events and this event would be special to them because it would give them the opportunity to meet other athletes. However, this also meant a challenge for Lampe, due to the teams financial limitations, she would have to raise the money in order to purchase a ticket for each athlete.
    Lampe and her husband sat down and decided they would start seeking financial support and sponsorships.
         "My husband sparked the idea and I said let's go for it," Lampe said. "That evening I picked up the phone and on the first phone call, I received $1,000 dollars, I didn't even know what ticket prices were."
         Encouraged by the first donation, Lampe continued to make more calls.
         "I told them this is what we're going to try and do and the sponsors made it happen," she said.  
         In four days, Lampe and her husband raised $5,000 and were able to purchase enough tickets that allow them to take the entire team.
         "It could not happen if it wasn't for the generosity of the sponsors," she said.
    Lampe then contacted a representative with Harlem Globetrotters and set up a meet and greet for the athletes.
         "They are going to love being there as a team. It's going to be such an awesome experience to see them participate," Lampe said.
    Dodge City Dodgers Special Olympics
         According to Rod Sutton, coach for the DC Dodgers, this sports program has been long-standing. It provides the opportunity for special need individuals above the age of 8 to be involved in a sport. DC Dodgers is made up of four teams: bowling, basketball, cheerleading and track.
         The team consists of athletes from surrounding areas including Cimarron, Jetmore, Wright, Spearville, Bucklin, Montezuma and Meade.
         Sutton has a special attachment to the team. He became involved 17 years ago when his daughter Melissa, who was then 10 years old, joined the team.
         "Melissa was very shy when she was younger", Sutton said. "This program allowed her to make a tremendous amount of friends and her shyness started to go away.  This is her family".
    The DC Dodgers is managed by 15 coaches who all volunteer their time. When athletes travel or attend state championships, it is funded by money received from sponsors.
    Page 2 of 2 -      "Our person that coordinates all our fundraising is Michelle, she's the one that has kept us going", Sutton said, "Tammy has also been doing a fantastic job."
         Sutton said this program is important because it helps individuals with special needs feel better about themselves and it provides social activity but above all, a long lasting bond. "They're just like a family when they get together," he said.
    Reach Nancy Calderon at (620) 408-9914 or email her at nancy.calderon@dodgeglobe.com
     
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