Dream Ride Raises Money for Special Olympics

Connecticut’s Special Olympics athletes got the red carpet treatment on Saturday.

The Dream Ride Experience is the charity’s biggest fundraiser of the year.

Saturday morning, athletes from 17 states and three foreign countries including Australia fished, played miniature golf, and other games.

After lunch, police planned to escort the athletes in exotic and classic cars.

The tour was expected to end at the Farmington Polo Club where the athletes would be celebrated with a red carpet arrival and party.

Other activities on Saturday included a chili cook-off, K9 demonstration, and live entertainment.

The cars, worth a half a billion dollars, will be put on public display Sunday.

The polo grounds will be open to the public for free throughout the event. Two NBA players will put on an exhibition Sunday at noon. There will also be food for purchase and a family fun zone with carnival rides. Wristbands can be purchased for the foot tent and rides.

Last year, the three-day event brought in over $1 million for Special Olympics of Connecticut.

"If we didn't have the proceeds we wouldn't be able to compete in Special Olympics Connecticut,” said Ray Hadden of New Milford.

Mike Bozzuto started the event 16 years ago with a motorcycle ride up the East coast. He said each year the Dream Ride includes more athletes and draws a larger crowd.

“It takes your breath away to see sometimes the growth that we’ve experienced and just the feeling that happens between the athletes, the parents, and the supporters,” Bozzuto said.

Several thousand people are expected to be in attendance over the three-day event.

For a schedule of activities click here.

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