Special needs children enjoy day with mascots, heroes ahead of mayor’s charity golf tournament

By Alaina Denean Deshazo

The Selma Times-Journal

 

The day was part of Selma Mayor George Evans’ annual Charity Golf Classic tournament and party.

Mermaids and fish decorated the room while characters Catwoman, Tigger, Spongebob, Power Rangers and Selma’s own Sparky the Fire Dog entertained the kids.

“It really is exciting, especially when they start bringing these characters out,” said Sarah Youngblood, a special education teacher at Martin Middle School. “It cracks [the kids] up. … They’re just over there having a blast. They love it.”

Savannah Blackmon, a 17-year-old student at Dallas County High School, said she loves the party and has fun attending each year.

“I love it. I love how children have fun and stuff,” Blackmon said. “I wonder what they’re going to do in 2017.”

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The event, now in its seventh year, was started by Evans, who has a passion for helping young children that developed during his time in education. Evans is a former superintendent of the Dallas County Schools system.

“Every year I look forward to it. The children here are having fun, enjoying dancing,” Evans said. “It makes me feel good to know that they’re happy and having fun.”

Although Evans will soon give up his position of mayor, he said the event means much to him and he plans to continues to carry on the golf tournament and throwing the party for the children.

“I’m just glad to be able to do it and hope to do it every year from now on,” Evans said. “It makes me really happy.”

Youngblood said the event is good for the children to be able to get out of the normal school routine and enjoy the company of each other.

“I think it is so important for the city to realize what we have here,” Youngblood said. “This brings awareness of special needs to a whole different group of people that are not necessarily aware, especially all of these golfers that will come to the golf tournament. They may not have special needs children.”

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Youngblood has worked at Martin Middle and with other special education programs in the county, and said the golf tournament helps the programs take care of children.

“The proceeds from this tournament gave us money to be able to buy supplies to be able to teach these children. It made a huge difference,” Youngblood said. “To just be given a certain amount of money that can only be spent on supplies for your special needs children is a breath of fresh air.”

 

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