London area Special Olympians benefit from donut sales

London area Special Olympians benefit from donut sales

Kerry Cloney is getting in some extra bowling practice as she prepares for her next provincial tournament.

The Special Olympian from London, Ont. is excited to be back after the pandemic wiped out so much of her playing time.

“I can compete, visit and go to all different places,” says Cloney when asked why she loves the sport.

Her husband Brian, also a Special Olympian, has been competing for 40 years.

“I would actually guess I probably got over 100 plus medals over the years,” says Brian, who is proud of his days playing floor hockey and soccer (in which he won an Ontario Cup).

Brian Cloney shows off his Ontario Cup soccer medal. He has achieved more than 100 Special Olympics medals over the past 40 years. Pictured in London, Ont. on Sunday, Feb. 5, 2023 (Brent Lale/CTV London)This weekend, both of them are beneficiaries of the proceeds from the Tim Horton’s Special Olympics donut.

Each donut, purchased for $2 this weekend, helps local athletes.

“If you look at the hashtag ‘choose to include’ that we’ve been using for the donut, I think (Friday) it was up around third or fourth in the country trending,” says Derek Spence, manager of the Ontario Law Enforcement Torch Run.

Money raised helps with field and arena rentals, equipment, uniforms, and travel expenses to play in tournaments.

“Last year, we were fortunate enough to partner with Tim Hortons and raise $600,000 across the country,” says Spence.

“$300,000 of which was raised right here in Ontario. That goes a long way towards helping the 26,000 athletes in Ontario that are involved with Special Olympics.”

100 per cent of the proceeds from the Special Olympics donut at Tim Horton’s goes to local athletes competing in Special Olympics Canada pictured in London, Ont. on Sunday, Feb. 5, 2023 (Brent Lale/CTV News London)

Athletes like the Cloneys.

Brian says his floor hockey and soccer teams have been named Ontario team of the year in the past due to their knowledge and implementation of their oath

“When I cannot win, let me be brave in the attempt,” says Brian. “That’s based on good sportsmanship, like how we present yourself to the opposition team and your positive attitude.”

The pandemic cancelled the past three Ontario Provincial games. This summer the high school games will resume, then Kerry and three other London bowlers will compete in Waterloo, Ont. in the spring of 2024.

“We’ll be able to see old friends that I haven’t seen over two years plus going on three years now, since everything’s shut down,” says Kerry.

Brian hoped everyone got out and got a donut before the program finished Sunday night.

“It helps athletes like us participate in events and travel around the world,” says Brian. “It also helps volunteers participate so they can help athletes’ dreams come true.”