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Coffee for Champions Supports Special Olympics

Do you need a cup of ambition before you start the day (or a few throughout the day)? During the month of October, popular coffee shops and cafés throughout Buncombe County donate up to five cents of each cup of coffee purchased to support local sports programs for community members with intellectual disabilities.

Coffee for Champions is the largest annual fundraiser for Special Olympics Buncombe County, a completely donation-funded, volunteer-driven program that provides year-round training and competitive programs in 11 sports for more than 480 youth and adults. Funds raised help build equitable opportunities for everyone who lives here, create a connection between athletes and the greater community, and celebrate changing attitudes about the talents of people with intellectual disabilities.

“We started Coffee for Champions five years ago,” says Karla Furnari, Local Coordinator for Special Olympics Buncombe County. “Each year, it continues to grow and helps expand programs and fund critical needs such as equipment, uniforms, and transporting athletes. Even though in-person training was put on hold because of COVID-19, volunteer coaches continued to engage with athletes on a regular basis to keep them mentally and physically healthy during a time that has been particularly taxing on individuals with intellectual disabilities. We have safely resumed some programs in which social distancing is possible and face coverings can be worn such as tennis and bocce.”

Donating Five Cents Per Cup

  • Ivory Road Café & Kitchen (1854 Brevard Road in Arden)
  • Mosaic Café & Coffee House (1 Town Square Boulevard in Biltmore Park)
  • PennyCup Coffee Company at the YMI (39 South Market Street in Downtown Asheville)
  • Round Earth Roasters (518 Hendersonville Road in Asheville)
  • Trout Lily Market (1297 Charlotte Highway in Fairview)

Donating One Cent Per Cup

  • PennyCup Coffee Company West (362 Depot Street in Asheville’s River Arts District)
  • PennyCup Coffee Company Haw Creek (6 Beverly Road in Asheville’s Haw Creek)
  • PennyCup Coffee Company North (857 Merrimon Avenue in North Asheville)

Buncombe County Special Olympics is made possible through funding from donors and support from Buncombe County Government. To donate or volunteer, visit the organization’s website.

Special Olympics was founded by Eunice Kennedy in 1968 to celebrate changing attitudes about the talents of people with intellectual disabilities. Special Olympics Buncombe County provides year-round sports training and athletic competition for adults and children above the age of seven. Sports include alpine skiing and snowboarding, aquatics, athletics, basketball, bocce, bowling, cheerleading, gymnastics, powerlifting, soccer, and tennis, as well as a young athletes program. The organization also offers the Adaptive Athlete Program in a partnership with Buncombe County Recreation Services.