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      Trimming the tree for Special Olympics

      Nearly 300 people turned out in support of Special Olympic athletes Thursday evening in Marquette.

      The tree trimming ceremony, held at the Holiday Inn, is a major fundraiser for the Michigan Special Olympics Division. For 30 years, community members have donated to the cause, which raises five to seven thousand dollars each year. The money collected will go toward funding new equipment for the 120 plus athletes and registration fees.

      "Even if we didn't make nearly that much, the benefit of giving the athletes an opportunity to experience a holiday get together--you can hear the music in the background--that had enough value in itself," said event organizer, Sean O'Donnell.

      The group will host the Upper Peninsula Winter Games beginning January 18.