CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Special Olympics West Virginia received a much-appreciated boost from the Kanawha County Commission Thursday.

Commissioners approved a request of $10,000 for Special Olympics West Virginia to help with their yearly expenses.

Co-Chair Mitch Collins was joined by three athletes of Special Olympics West Virginia during Thursday’s meeting. He said their group participates in numerous activities during the year that cost them around that amount of money.

“It costs a lot to do this,” Collins said. “This request will cover about a year’s worth of our obligations.”

Special Olympics West Virginia take part in many different events and sports throughout the year including basketball, volleyball, swimming, bowling and bocce ball. The group has to find money in order to compete in those events, on top of having to occasionally buy new uniforms and cover a fee from the state office for them to compete.

“Each county has to organize and each county gets charged by the state office for their athletes to participate,” said Collins.

For their trip to Morgantown for their state basketball tournament in March, Collins said it costs them around $2,000 for lodging. Being able to use space to practice and play in other events could cost them thousands of dollars too.

Normally, Special Olympics West Virginia can cover the cost of their events with money raised through fundraisers. However, funding in that fashion has slowed down over the past few years.

“We’ve been very diligent about raising money, so that when things got a little short we would have enough money set aside,” said Collins.

Collins expressed his gratitude to the commission for fulfilling their request. He said seeing the athletes compete in person is worth it.

“I wish you could come to some of the events because it is the life for some of these athletes,” Collins said.