Special Olympics West Hartford has lost about $20,000 of equipment due to the incident, and is hoping to collect donations to help replace what has been lost.
By Ronni Newton
For the past three years Special Olympics West Hartford (SOWH) has stored much of its athletic equipment – including uniforms – in the basement of 10 Princeton St., and organizers were devastated when they discovered that a pipe burst over the weekend of Aug. 10-11.
SOWH Head Coach and Equipment Manager Bob Jinks said in a news release that the broken pipe was discovered the morning of Monday, Aug. 12.
“The pipe broke over the weekend and filled the basement with approximately 8,000 gallons of water, leaving items submerged in over three feet of water from the broken toilet,” Jinks said. “It is estimated that 90 percent of SOWH equipment and uniforms were in storage at the time. Because of the material used (foam) in sporting equipment, mold has formed and [the foam] has also detached from plastic shells. We cannot take a chance with our athlete’s safety and health.”
Jinks said that much of the equipment and uniforms are a total loss, with replacement cost estimated at $20,000.
SOWH, one of the largest participants in Special Olympics Connecticut, offers several sports for each of the four seasons. They are an all-volunteer group “with one goal, inclusion.”
Jinks said the organization is hoping to be able to maintain their commitment to the hundreds of athletes with intellectual disabilities who enjoy participating in the program free of charge.
Anyone interested in making a donation can send a check payable to Special Olympics West Hartford to P.O. Box 271317, West Hartford, CT 06127.
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