OBX Jeep Charities—a recently formed 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that provides various resources, programs and activities that are designed to enhance the lives of Dare County citizens—has raised and donated $35,000 to the Dare County Special Olympics.
A check for the funds that were raised from the 2022 OBX Jeep Invasion event was presented to Dare County Special Olympics co-coordinator Jackie Pikulski Frappier and Dare County Special Olympics athlete Dorothy “Dottie” Patton by Dare County Commissioner and OBX Jeep Invasion co-coordinator Steve House during the Dare County Board of Commissioners meeting that was held at 9 a.m. on Monday, November 7, 2022.
Held from Friday, October 7, 2022, through Sunday, October 9, 2022, the 2022 OBX Beach Invasion brought 796 Jeeps to the Outer Banks to attend the three-day event, which featured 38 vendors at the Soundside Event Site in Nags Head, live music provided by The Ramble and Jonny Waters Band, a visit from Dare MedFlight, a poker run, vendor bingo and a charity ride on the beach in Kitty Hawk, as well as an array of raffles and prizes, many of which were Jeep related.
“We are just absolutely blown away; thank you all so much,” said Frappier upon receiving the donation. “On behalf of Dare County Special Olympics, thank you so much for your contribution, your donation. We are beyond grateful for this. One thing that is really important to our athletes is ensuring that no cost is ever passed on to a single athlete of ours, so this is going to help immensely with that.”
The Dare County Special Olympics provides year-round sports training and athletic competition in a variety of sports ranging from bocce ball, bowling and basketball to cheerleading, track and field, and equestrian for children and adults with developmental or cognitive disabilities. The organization offers Outer Banks athletes ages 8 and older opportunities to develop physical fitness, enhance their athletic abilities, forge new friendships and enjoy a sense of social inclusion by helping them to connect with other athletes, coaches and volunteers in the Dare County community.
Frappier also highlighted how the Dare County Special Olympics program has expanded in recent years, with several new sports slated to be added for upcoming seasons.
“We are currently getting ready to add golf, and we’re going to add tennis as well, so this is going to help those programs get off the ground and running,” she said. “This helps with our travel expenses, it helps with equipment and uniforms. It helps supply everything that we need for all of our competitions and invitationals, and it will truly help these guys really get out there and compete. They love to compete; that is something that is so incredibly important to them. They really get to shine and be their true selves getting out there and competing—and they have the highest level of sportsmanship out of anyone I think I have ever seen. So we are truly honored. I don’t even think we can say thank you enough for this.”
In addition to the Dare County Special Olympics, funds raised during the 2022 OBX Jeep Invasion also benefited a second organization that was selected by OBX Jeep Charities: the Wounded Warriors in Action Foundation. During his presentation, House presented Brook Sparks, a local representative of the organization that serves our nation’s Purple Heart recipients by providing world-class outdoor sporting activities as a means to recognize and honor their sacrifice, with a check for $6,000.
Participants in the 2022 OBX Jeep Invasion also collected 2,500 pounds of non-perishable food items that were donated to the Beach Food Pantry in Kitty Hawk, and on Sunday, October 9, 2022, more than 200 Jeeps participated in the Lighthouse to Lighthouse Ride, which raised $500 and collected dozens of toys that will be donated to the Virginia S. Tillett Community Center’s annual toy drive that benefits underprivileged children throughout Dare County.
At the conclusion of his presentation, House announced the dates of the next OBX Jeep Invasion, which is scheduled to be held in the spring.
“From May 12 to May 14, 2023, we’re going to invade the beach again, and we hope to see you all come out and visit us,” he said. “Thank you all, and thanks to the community for supporting us.”
For more information about the Dare County Special Olympics, please visit www.DareNC.com/SpecialOlympics or click here to watch a video that was released as part of Current TV’s Destination Dare series in July 2022.