Wertz Warriors to help Special Olympics of Michigan
ALGER — For 30 years the Wertz Warriors Snowmobile Group and their Endurance Ride has been the presenting sponsor for the Michigan Special Olympics Winter Games..
The group, which includes four members from Arenac County, crisscrosses the state each winter, as they travel more than 900 miles to raise money for the yearly event.
Starting in Mount Clemens and ending in Petoskey, the group has raised more than $7.5 million to help disadvantaged athletes reach for gold.
Though the ride raises a lot of the money, it is not the group’s only fundraising event as they are now looking for people to join in on the fun at their Annual Golf Tournament on July 24, at 9 a.m., at the Pine River Golf Course in Standish.
Though the event takes place on the 24th, the deadline for registration is approaching quickly as it will close at the end of the day on the July 17.
Sterling resident and Wertz Warrior fundraiser Colleen Irving said people can call and register for the event anytime.
“It’s $70 dollars and $280 per team. They’ll also be getting a premium play (voucher) back at the casino,” she said. “It doesn’t matter what time, they can call me anytime.”
Irving also said she’s happy that the group can support the Special Olympics through all of their fundraising events.
All of the proceeds will be going to fund the athletes at the Special Olympics Winter Games, which happens the first week of February at the Grand Traverse Resort and Spa, in Acme.
“We are quite ecstatic. We are very happy because that helps go towards the athletes,” said Colleen, whose husband, Jack, is an official member of the group. “It’s worth every bit of it to watch those young people react. They try and compete, but if one falls then they will stop and pick each other up. I think everyone can learn something from them.”
The group not only financially supports the Olympics through their fundraising, but they also provide rides to the athletes during the opening ceremony of the event.
Jack said that seeing the look on those athletes’ eyes alone is enough to make him happy about supporting the event.
“I have never experienced anything like it. The gratitude from those athletes is just heartwarming,” said the third-year member about the Special Olympics. “Everything that the Wertz Warriors get, it all goes to Special Olympics. Last year they raised in excess of $300,000 (and) it all adds up.”
To sign up for the golf tournament, or to find out how to become a part of the group, call Jack or Colleen Irving at 989-654-3403 for more information.