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$1.6M raised for Special Olympics SD expansion

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SIOUX FALLS (AP) — A fund drive has raised more than $1.6 million to help Special Olympics South Dakota expand its facility in Sioux Falls and introduce a new competition concept.

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The amount easily surpassed the $1 million goal for the summer drive endorsed by the Sioux Falls Area Chamber of Commerce, the Argus Leader newspaper reported.

The money will go toward a $1.9 million project to more than triple the space of the 6,000-square-foot building on the city's north side. Officials plan to add a commons area, walkway and gymnasium with two basketball courts.

Special Olympics President and CEO Darryl Nordquist said the expanded facility will help the nonprofit launch a concept called "unify sports," in which disabled people and people without disabilities take part in programs together.

"It's a fairly new concept," Nordquist said. "It brings those without disabilities into a relationship-building environment with those with disabilities. They end up as teammates. They end up as friends."

The agency will introduce the concept in various events across the state, Nordquist said. Special Olympics holds 26 events in South Dakota each year.

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