Train rides to help fund Shanks’ trip to games

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The Gore Model Engineering Club is holding a fundraiser to help tenpin bowler Ryan Shanks head to the Special Olympics in Wellington this year.

The club has an annual fundraiser in which the proceeds of the model train rides go to a selected cause or charity.

Club president Rhonda Wilson said Mr Shanks’ mother, Susan, was the club secretary.

“She has been secretary for some time now,” Miss Wilson said.

“Years ago, her oldest son got involved with the club when it was being built. Once he moved away, Susan stuck around.”

Miss Wilson said the club hosted the fundraiser annually.

“We do a free run each year and this year we decided all the funds would go towards Ryan and getting him to the Special Olympics,” she said.

Ms Shanks said the club’s help was completely unexpected.

“We are really thrilled.”

She said her son began tenpin bowling 12 years ago and he enjoyed it.

“There are seven athletes attending the [Special] Olympics – three swimmers and four tenpin bowlers,” she said.

The games start on November 27 and finish on December 1.

Ms Shanks said the Special Olympics were being held in Wellington this year, so athletes needed to pay for flights.

As well, they had to pay $660 to register.

“That includes accommodation and food.

“Costs, including airfares, is approximately $1100 per athlete .. although the Special Olympics Committee contributes some of this cost.”

Ms Shanks said the Special Olympics were important to those with disabilities, as they had the opportunity to play sports without pressures and judgements.

The group of athletes had so far raised funds with a raffle and a sausage sizzle at The Warehouse.

“It went well, so we will be having another one soon also.”

The model train rides are on October 14 at Hamilton Park.