Swim meet will honor longtime advocate Kelly Jo Carlson

The Special Olympics meet is expected to attract between 150 and 200 swimmers from several counties.
YOUNGSTOWN -- The third annual Area 11 Kelly Jo Carlson Memorial Special Olympics Swim Meet is Sunday at Youngstown State University's Beeghly Natatorium.
Kelly, who died at age 33 on April 21, 2004, was a competitive swimmer in high school and enjoyed volunteering and had helped at Special Olympics events since she was a child.
Because of her interest in Special Olympics, Kelly's parents, Paul and Lois Carlson of Bazetta, asked that monetary tributes at the time of her death go to the Special Olympics program. The fund, which has grown to about 4,000, is used to sponsor the event, which combines Kelly's interests in athletics and volunteering, her father said.
This year's event, an open meet hosted by the Trumbull County Fairhaven Program, will attract between 150 and 200 swimmers who are members of teams from Ashtabula, Trumbull, Mahoning, Columbiana, Stark and Summit counties, Carlson said.
The meet, which will begin at 1 p.m. and is expected to end at about 4 p.m., is open to the public, Carlson said.
The money donated in Kelly's memory is used for pool fees, officials, security, lifeguards, awards and other costs associated with the meet. Kelly was a graduate of Warren Western Reserve High School and Kent State University.
Carlson said he and his family plan to underwrite the annual Area 11 Kelly Jo Carlson Memorial Swim Meet indefinitely.
& quot;It helps the Special Olympics, and it helps us deal with Kelly's death, & quot; Carlson said.

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