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Loss of sponsor forces Wisconsin Special Olympics to cut back

The loss of a major sponsorship has brought about the restructuring of the Special Olympics Wisconsin. Kelly Kloepping, director of marketing and communications for the organization, says eight positions have been eliminated from offices around the state.

These losses come in the face of an estimated $300,000 deficit for this year. She says the shortfall stems primarily from the end of ShopKo's Charity Golf Classic.

Kloepping says these losses will not affect the services offered by Special Olympics.

She says it was a "really tough" decision since it had nothing to do with personal performance, but rather was a business decision, just to ensure that their funds would allow them to keep up our competition and training.

Koepping says at this point, they're just keeping that teamwork alive and nothing is going to change for the athletes and families.

Kloepping says ShopKo ended the golf classic when it became too big for them to handle, but that the company is still helping the Special Olympics through an umbrella charity foundation.

She also says the Special Olympics is currently looking for new corporate sponsors and new donors to make up for the $500,000 to $600,000 donation provided through the golf classic.

New fundraisers, including a "Du Run Run" duathlon for children, are also in the works.