VIGO COUNTY, Ind. (WTWO/WAWV) — The Special Olympics Indiana Summer Games are slated to return to Terre Haute next month– and they need help for this year’s event.

Special Olympics Indiana is a nonprofit organization for children and adults with intellectual disabilities, providing year-round training and activities. The organization is excited to bring the summer games back to Terre Haute in June. The volunteers and coaches are the backbone of this event and they make a difference in the lives of others by building relationships.

“The relationships that have been built throughout the years and throughout the competitions, and training that you know you can’t put a measure on that,” Director of Competition Jodi Moan said.

Moan said she has been volunteering for over 35 years and has grown relationships with the athletes through coaching them. One athlete, Eric Wrightsman, has been a bowler for over three years for the Special Olympics and he said he wouldn’t of gotten this far without Jodi’s support and his friends.

“I have a lot of friends like the coaches and volunteers. I’ve bowled like between 140, 180 and 190, almost 200,” Wrightsman said.

Jodi said she has known Eric for about 25 years and has felt the impact of their friendship.

“As we were leaving to come down here today, Micah and I asked you know who you’re gonna ride with, and he pointed to me and said my best friend,” Moan said.

Whether you volunteer year-round, seasonally or for a single-day event, Special Olympic staff said volunteering is an experience that benefits you and the athlete. Vigo County Coordinator for Special Olympics Micah Gallion said even though she’s only been doing this for a year, it’s proven to be a one-of-a-kind Experience.

“Being a part of Special Olympics is like nothing else I’ve ever done in past job experiences. The love, the joy that these athletes bring is everything,” Gallion said.

Many volunteer positions are still available, from awarding medals, to conducting competitions, to supporting the parade of athletes and much more.

Communications Director Carla Knapp said they are still in need of volunteers this year to help run the event.

“Right now we definitely need a lot more volunteers to be able to offer summer games like we want to do for our athletes. And a lot of the volunteers that we have come to summer games are from right here in Vigo County and the surrounding areas. The community is always so supportive of us whenever we come to Terre Haute for summer games and we really rely on their support to be able to put on a top quality event year after year,” Knapp said.

Those interested in volunteering can register for one or more of the positions available.

The 2023 summer games will be offering competition in bocce, bowling, cycling, powerlifting, swimming, track and field, and volleyball. The event will be held at Indiana State University and Rose-Hulman on June 9-11.

If you are interested in volunteering you sign up on there website.