Filling the Dream fundraiser benefits Special Olympics

(WEAU) - 17 mega holiday stations in Eau Claire, Altoona, Chippewa Falls and Lake Hallie encouraged drivers to fill up their tanks. 5 cents of every gallon pumped raised money for Special Olympics.

"It helps us do what we need for Special Olympics, get everything we need, our equipment and help us go to state," said Special Olympics athlete, Joanne Lehst.

Volunteers even cooked up brats and sold chips for an additional 2 dollar donation.

Our WEAU company cars like any other car can run out of fuel and volunteers even assisted with filling up its gas tank.

With music pumping and volunteers smiling and having fun, they also washed windows to help people out.

We talked with volunteers to see why they wanted to lend a hand.

"We have some kids that are in Olympics on our team and they help out, and its just good to give back to people that come out and support you," said volunteer Matt Sanders of the Eau Claire Crush Football team.

Athletes like Jacob Vigek says it’s important to help those who can't fill up their gas tanks and other athletes say they enjoy playing sports.

“Its fun, we go to state sometimes, I went there last year in Oshkosh for basketball tournaments, its pretty fun,” said Michael Holm.

Athletes also made an effort to spread awareness on why not to use the "r word.”

"We're trying to get a lot of people not to say the r word, we're trying to get them to say respect," said Lehst.

Last year more than 22 thousand dollars we're raised and this year's goal was to add an additional 5 thousand

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Eau Claire, Wis. – May 12 is shaping up to be a great day for Special Olympics athletes as volunteers prepare to pump gas in exchange for fundraising dollars.

The 7th annual Filling the Dream fundraiser between Special Olympics Indianhead Region and Mega Holiday stores will take place from 8am-5pm on Saturday, May 12.

Community members in Eau Claire, Altoona, Chippewa Falls, and Lake Hallie are encouraged to fill up their tanks that day and Mega will pay Special Olympics 5 cents for every gallon pumped. In 2011 the event, combined with coupon sales inside the stores, raised more than $22,000! This year’s goal is to add another $5,000 to that total.

Volunteers from businesses and service organizations have “adopted” 17 Mega Holiday stations for the day in order to make this fundraiser happen.

In addition to being a full service station for the day, all stores are selling coupons throughout May to benefit the local Special Olympics program. The recommended minimum donation for a coupon sheet is $1. In return, receive $1 off on milk, bread, frozen pizza, a free coffee, $2 off a car wash and $5 off an oil change. That’s $11 worth of savings for only $1 out of your pocket!

On May 12 Mega volunteers will also be cooking and selling brats for additional donations. Some stations will also have DJ’s playing music. Athlete Scott Gutsch will be DJ-ing at the Mega on Highland Ave.

“Think about anything and everything that runs on gas and bring it”, says Karen Kraus, Director of Development. “Remember to fill your boat, your gas cans for the lawnmower and weed wacker and chainsaw, plus your RV, golf cart…you name it”!

Mega Foods, Mega Holiday and Mega Charities are the largest sponsors and supporters of the local Special Olympics program.

Documation is also a sponsor of this year’s event. Documation donated printing of the 15,000 coupon sheets as well as various other promotional materials.


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