School Resource Officer Dick Peach, of Smyrna Primary and Smyrna Elementary schools, enjoys a laugh with an unidentified Toot's customer in April 2011 at a Wings and Rings event at Toot's Restaurant in Smyrna, Tenn. (TMP File Photo)
Diners can support 225 Special Olympians competing in a bowling tournament by donating funds during the Wings and Rings dinner Tuesday, Sept. 24, at Toot’s Restaurant in Smyrna.
Rutherford County school resource officers will help serve and entertain diners during the fundraising event from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Toot’s on Sam Ridley Parkway. All proceeds allow the intellectually disadvantaged athletes from Rutherford County and Murfreesboro schools and adult centers to compete in the two-day tournament at the Smyrna Bowling Center, said Special Olympics co-coordinator Lou Paschall.
To participate, diners purchase their meal and enjoy “seeing lots of folks you know, the Toot's atmosphere, and family friendly entertainment provided by the SROs,” Paschall said. “The SROs will assist in the serving with the Toot's staff in addition to singing and telling jokes. Each table will have an envelope for any contributions diners would like to make.”
In addition to supporting the athletes, diners can enjoy an after-hours office get-together, a school gathering of teachers and families, a church social or just a night out.
Smyrna Toot’s manager Rachel Hunter said the restaurant will offer a Wings and Rings special of 10 wings and a small order of onion rings for $5.99.
“We’re looking forward to Wings and Rings,” Hunter said. “We love doing events for the community.”
Co-coordinator John Harris said all the funds pay for the athletes to compete in the bowling tournament.
Northfield Elementary School special education teacher Karen Godwin said Special Olympic students are already asking about the tournament.
“It’s what these children love,” Godwin said of the Special Olympians who compete in the bowling tournament in the fall and track and field events in the spring. “It’s the highlight for them because they get to be Super Stars. The kids feel like a million dollars. They don’t get the chance otherwise.”
Paschall said the Special Olympics volunteer board appreciates the support of Toot’s for working diligently and to Sheriff Robert Arnold and the SROs for supporting the athletes.
“Wings and Rings is a great opportunity to skip cooking and contribute to a great cause,” Paschall said. “This is a chance to help raise funds for activities for Special Olympics athletes in Area 16. We live in a wonderful community that has always supported Special Olympics athletes. Please continue this tradition and join us this year.”