Thursday, October 21, 2021

After long wait, Special Olympics Texas’ biggest fundraiser returns

Highland Village Police Chief Doug Reim

An annual fundraising event chaired by Highland Village Police Chief Doug Reim is returning over a year-and-a-half since its originally scheduled date.

The fourth annual Steak & Stetson event, Special Olympics Texas’ biggest fundraiser, was scheduled for April 4, 2020. Just a few weeks before the event, the COVID-19 pandemic changed daily life here and around the country, and the event was postponed to the fall. Then to the spring 2021. And then again to the fall.

“We finally got the green light this time,” Reim said of the event scheduled for 6 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 9, at Circle R Ranch in west Flower Mound. “Let’s make our mark again for these amazing people.”

Steak & Stetson offers the chance to meet some community leaders, a good steak dinner, casino games, live music and entertainment, silent and live auctions and dancing until midnight. Proceeds from the night of boot-scootin’ fun go to support training and competitions for more than 15,000 Special Olympics Texas athletes, primarily in the North Texas region.

Tickets are still available. One dinner seat costs $150, the same cost to sponsor an athlete for a year.

“These athletes have many medical bills to deal with, so this helps take some of the financial burden off them,” Reim said.

The three events in 2017-19 collectively raised about $150,000 for the nonprofit. This year, organizers know supporters have been impacted by the pandemic and its effects.

“We know the duress people have been under, with layoffs and sickness and all that has affected them, so we’re attentive to that,” Reim said. “Fundraising is way down because of the pandemic. Every little bit helps.”

Special Olympics Texas athletes were some of the most impacted people by the risk of COVID-19 and the closures caused by it.

“They’re in the high-risk population for serious complications from COVID, so they were restricted from having any of these events that these kids live for,” Reim said. “The excitement level they have for anything Special Olympics is amazing, and they missed out on it for the last year-and-a-half.”

Steak & Stetson is co-chaired by Flower Mound Police Chief Andy Kancel and Denton Police Chief Frank Dixon, along with honorary chairs State Rep. Tan Parker and two-time Super Bowl champion Tony Casillas. Reim said he appreciates all of their support, as well as that of Circle R Ranch, Jody Smith of CornerStone Staffing (the event’s premiere sponsor) and all the other sponsors and supporters.

For more information, click here or call 817-739-7629.

Mark Smith
Mark Smith is the Digital Editor of The Cross Timbers Gazette.

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