Dare County News | Dare County, NC

OBX Jeep Charities – a newly formed 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that provides various resources, programs and activities designed to improve the lives of Dare County citizens – has raised and donated $35,000 to the Dare County Special Olympics.

A check for the money raised from the 2022 OBX Jeep Invasion event was presented to Dare County Special Olympics Coordinator Jackie Pikulski Frappier and Dare County Special Olympics athlete Dorothy “Dottie” Patton by Dare County Commissioner and OBX Jeep Invasion co-coordinator Steve House during Dare County Board of Commissioners meeting held at 9 a.m. Monday, November 7, 2022.

Held from Friday, October 7, 2022 through Sunday, October 9, 2022, the OBX Beach Invasion brought 796 Jeeps to the Outer Banks to participate in the three-day event, which featured 38 vendors at the Soundside Event Site in Nags Head, live music from The Ramble and the Jonny Waters Band, a visit from Dare MedFlight, a round of poker, vendor bingo and a charity ride on the beach at Kitty Hawk, as well as a series of raffles and prizes, many of which were Jeep-related.

“We’re just absolutely blown away; thank you so much,” Frappier said as he accepted the donation. “On behalf of the Dare County Special Olympics, thank you so much for your contribution, your donation. We are very grateful for this. One thing that is very important to our athletes is to make sure that no costs are ever passed on to a single athlete by us, so this will help tremendously with that.”

Photo of Commissioner House and his fellow OBX Jeep Charities members presenting a check to Dare County Special Olympics Co-Coordinator Jackie Pikulski Frappier and Dare County Special Olympics athlete Dorothy
Photo of Commissioner House and his fellow OBX Jeep Charities members presenting a check to Dare County Special Olympics co-coordinator Jackie Pikulski Frappier and Dare County Special Olympics athlete Dorothy “Dottie” Patton.

Dare County Special Olympics offers year-round sports training and athletic competition in a variety of sports, from bocce ball, bowling and basketball to cheerleading, track and field and equestrian sports for children and adults with developmental or cognitive disabilities. The organization offers Outer Banks athletes ages 8 and older opportunities to develop physical fitness, improve their athletic abilities, make new friendships and enjoy a sense of social inclusion by helping them connect with other Dare County athletes, coaches and volunteers -society.

Frappier also highlighted how the Special Olympics program has expanded in recent years, with several new sports slated to be added for upcoming seasons.

“We are currently preparing to add golf, and we will be adding tennis as well, so this will help those programs get off the ground,” she said. “This helps with our travel costs, it helps with equipment and uniforms. It helps provide everything we need for all of our competitions and invitationals, and it’s really going to help these guys really get out there and compete. They love to compete; it is something that is so incredibly important to them. They really get to shine and be their true selves when they go out and compete – and they have the highest level of sportsmanship of anyone I think I’ve ever seen. So we are truly honored. I don’t even think we can say thank you enough for this.”

In addition to Dare County Special Olympics, funds raised during the 2022 OBX Jeep Invasion also benefited a second organization selected by OBX Jeep Charities: Wounded Warriors in Action Foundation. During his presentation, House presented Brook Sparks, a local representative of the organization that serves our nation’s Purple Heart recipients by providing world-class outdoor sports activities as a way to recognize and honor their sacrifice, with a check for $6,000.

Photo of Commissioner House and his fellow OBX Jeep Charities members presenting a check to Brook Sparks, local representative for Wounded Warriors in Action.
Photo of Commissioner House and his fellow OBX Jeep Charities members presenting a check to Brook Sparks, local representative for Wounded Warriors in Action.

Participants in the 2022 OBX Jeep Invasion also collected 2,500 pounds of nonperishable food that was donated to the Beach Food Pantry in Kitty Hawk, and on Sunday, October 9, 2022, more than 200 Jeeps participated in the Lighthouse to Lighthouse Ride, which raised $500 and collected dozens of toys which will be donated to the Virginia S. Tillett Community Center’s annual toy drive benefiting underprivileged children throughout Dare County.

At the end of his presentation, House announced the dates for the next OBX Jeep Invasion, which is scheduled for spring.

“From May 12 to May 14, 2023, we will invade the beach again, and we hope to see you all come out and visit us,” he said. “Thank you everyone and thank you to the community for supporting us.”

Image of Commissioner House and his fellow OBX Jeep Charities members speaking during the November 7, 2022 Board of Directors meeting.
Image of Commissioner House and his fellow OBX Jeep Charities members speaking during the November 7, 2022 Board of Directors meeting.

For more information on the Dare County Special Olympics, visit DareNC.com/SpecialOlympics or click here to watch a video released as part of Current TV’s Destination Dare series in July 2022.

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