SuperTalk Mississippi

Special Olympics Mississippi to honor champion and retired state Representative

JACKSON, Miss.- The Special Olympics of Mississippi has announced they will honor long-time champion and retired state Representative Rita Martinson on November 10 at the Go For The Gold Gala in Jackson.

Martinson, along with other athletes and volunteers, will be recognized for their contributions to Special Olympics Mississippi over the years.

The Gala will also showcase artwork from athletes including pottery from Jeffery Brock, Charlie Winstead, Royce Smith, Savannah Wilson, and Jane Kileen created through Mustard Seed. Anyone interested in attending will have a chance to meet the artists and place bids on the pieces.

“Every Donation made directly to Special Olympics Mississippi, including money raised at this gala, stays n the state,” said Kenny Williamson, chairman of the Special Olympics Mississippi board of directors. “Those funds go toward providing quality athletic training and competitions for our more than 4,000 athletes who compete in more than 50 annual events statewide, as well as national and international competitions.”

Other artwork will include Wyatt Waters and Gary Walters who have each donated prints and original pieces for the silent auction. It will also include sports memorabilia autographed by NFL Hall of Famer Brett Favre, Ole Miss football head coach Hugh Freeze, and many more.

Rep. Martinson spearheaded the very first gala for Special Olympics Mississippi nearly 13 years ago. While she was in legislature, from 1992 until retiring in 2016, she served on committees on education and tourism in which she would highlight Special Olympians who would then be recognized by the Speaker of the House, receiving commendations for their achievements.

Tickets for the cocktail/black tie event are $75 each or $125 for couples and are available online at

Special Olympis Mississippi became one of the first pilot programs after the Special Olympics founder, Eunice Kennedy Shriver, visited Ellisville State School in 1968. It was then recognized by the state in 1975 and today serves more than 4,000 athletes though a network of 17 multi-county areas with thousands of volunteers.

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