Special Olympic athletes Trey Givens and Jade Curran pose alongside their United partners, Holly Eddins and Dean Collins

On June 8, TD Bank hosted its annual Special Olympics Trading Card Day at four local locations. Clients had the opportunity to do their business at the bank and enjoy a friendly game of soccer on their way out.

The event raises money for the Special Olympics and builds awareness for the Play Unified movement, which joins people with and without intellectual disabilities on the same team in order to foster friendship and competition.

From May 14 to June 22, clients had the opportunity to purchase a $5 bracelet to support the cause. Over the past nine years, this fundraiser has raised over $9.5 million, most of which goes directly to the Special Olympics. The goal is to raise one million dollars this year.

Trey Givens and Jade Curran were two athletes who participated in the event. They each play several sports, often hopping from one practice to the next, which keeps them busy and fit. “My favorite thing is going out and being active,” said Givens.

Givens has also gained a community platform through the Special Olympics, making speeches at various fundraisers and benefits. He recently helped raise $20,000 for the team’s upcoming trip to Seattle when he spoke at a fundraiser hosted by Countryside Baptist Church in Dover.

The team will be leaving on June 30 to fly to Seattle and compete in the USA games, a brand new experience for many of the athletes involved, and a great opportunity to earn some recognition.

Givens and Curran were accompanied by two United partners, Holly Eddins and Dean Collins, along with Coach Sandy Denham. Coach Denham has been involved with the Special Olympics for 30 years, and is clearly passionate about the program and the athletes. “The team gets a lot of community support,” she said.

The United partners, Eddins and Collins, are former students at Plant City High School who play alongside the athletes and help coaches.

While at the bank, the group set up small soccer goals, Connect 4, and even broke out some hula hoops. Several TD Bank employees joined the fun, along with a few clients who could not resist trying to score a quick goal.

Donations to support the Special Olympics can be made to any TD Bank, or at give.specialolympics.org.