An organization that enriches lives of disabled athletes will benefit from a fund-raiser at a Salisbury business June 7.
Rommel’s Ace Hardware on College Avenue will host Helpful Hero Fun Day from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. to raise money for Athletes Serving Athletes. Founded in 2001, ASA’s goal is to better the lives of special needs athletes.
“This event is going to be big,” said Patrick Curran, general manager of Ace Hardware.
“One of the ASA members who is disabled is a very close family friend of mine. I have several different connections to this. Also, Rommel’s Ace Hardware does a lot of community stuff, so this is going to be my big event for this year,” Curran said.
His best friend, Andrew Helton, is involved with ASA, and through the organization helps teen Andrew Donohue.
Based in Richboro, Pa., ASA bills itself as offering “innovation athletic training, supportive mentor relationships, and mainstream athletic events for athletes living with disabilities” and “brings people together to experience the joy, excitement and thrill of competition.”
Athletic activity is used “as a catalyst for personal development, improving physical fitness, increasing self-esteem and empowering challenged youth to meet their highest potential.”
Helton said the June 7 event will be an “exciting way to meet our inspiring athletes and a great way to support our community.”
“These kids really are inspiring and by giving them the chance to participate and compete in actual races, they get to feel the thrill of racing. I was looking for an organization to give my time and natural talents to as an athlete myself, and Athletes Serving Athletes is a perfect fit,” Helton said.
Curran, who’s been employed by Ace 11 years, said next year’s event will be bigger.
“We’re hoping to make it an annual thing. Next year we hope to have a marathon, with the athletes leaving Ace then ending up back there at Ace,” he said.
Featured will be Ace Hardware discounts, raffles for prizes including meals at local restaurants, free sandwiches from Chick-fil-A, an appearance by the restaurant mascot, hot dogs, face painting, live jazz, inflatable amusements for children and a gymnastics performance.
“This is probably going to be the biggest event we’ve ever done … we’re going to have it in the front parking lot. Planet Fitness and Primo’s will also attend,” Curran said of the fitness center and sub shop that occupy the same plaza.
“Part of my job with Rommel’s Ace Hardware is giving back to the community and customer service. Our customer service is very important to us. It’s known throughout the community,” Curran said.
“For us, building customer service and sincerely caring about the community are very important, no matter which organization it is.”
Reach Susan Canfora at firstname.lastname@example.org.