By Ryan Scott Ottney
PDT Staff Writer
Tuesday kicks off a nearly month-long series of events in celebration of National Developmental Disabilities Month — beginning with an open house at all Scioto County Board of Developmental Disabilities (SCBDD) locations and culminating with the fifth annual SCBDD Hardwood Heroes Celebrity Basketball game on April 6.
“Each year our Special Olympics committee works hard to make our Celebrity Basketball game an exciting opportunity for our community to take part,” said Julie Monroe, director of Community Services at the SCBDD. “We have some great competitors lined up from our community and will again be providing awareness activities on the mezzanine for everyone to learn more about the programs and services we offer.”
Players from the SCBDD Shooting Stars team will tip off against a team of local celebrities for a fundraiser game to raise money and awareness for SCBDD and the Special Olympics. The growing list of local celebrities already includes Mike Gampp (American Savings Bank), Portsmouth Mayor David Malone, Portsmouth City Auditor Trent Williams, John Johnson (Kiwanis President and local pharmacist), Mike Bell (Daymar College), and Wayne Allen (Community Common).
“The celebrity players we have so far are proving to be a very strong, competitive bunch and our team is getting very excited for the competition,” Monroe said. “We had the largest crowd we ever had last year and want to break that record again and pack the stands.”
Last year’s game ended with the Shooting Stars defeating the Celebrities, 147-43.
National Developmental Disabilities Month begins locally with the SCBDD Open House at all locations, Tuesday, March 12, from 6 to 7:30 p.m. The Open House is part of Developmental Disabilities Awareness month and allows the community time to speak with staff, learn more about programs and services and visit with teachers to learn more about the various learning programs available.
“The students at Vern Riffe School will have a science fair on display in the gym at the school and the Carousel Center will be hosing a Family Literacy night,” said SCBDD Spokesperson Shawn Jordan. “There will be drawings for prizes, face painting and a variety of refreshments for the whole family to enjoy.”
Then the organization will be participating in the St. Patrick’s Day Parade March 16, and ending the celebration April 6 with the Hardwood Heroes Celebrity Basketball game will be held April 6. The game begins at 1 p.m. at the Shawnee State University Athletic Complex. The cost of admission is $1. For more information on sponsorship, tickets or volunteering opportunities, contact Monroe at 740-353-8448. The SCBDD is also available on the web at sciotocountydd.org.
Ryan Scott Ottney can be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 287, or firstname.lastname@example.org.