WARREN - For the past nine years, Paul and Lois Carlson and their family have sponsored a public swim meet for special-needs swimmers that also honors the memory of their daughter.
The Kelly Jo Carlson Swim Meet will be held at 1 p.m. Saturday at Warren G. Harding High School's Natatorium.
Carlson was not only a swimmer but a volunteer who helped with the swimming program at Fairhaven School in Niles.
Paul Carlson of Cortland said the event draws more than 125 swimmers from Ashtabula, Columbiana, Mahoning, Portage, Stark and Summit counties, along with the host program of Fairhaven from Trumbull County.
Carlson said the meet allows special-needs adults the opportunity to show their swimming skills, to compete and to receive honors.
''This showcases their skills and abilities as swimmers,'' he said.
Swimmers range in age and disability, but all have fun being able to swim and compete, he said.
He said his daughter volunteered at numerous events for the Special Olympics and also participated in swimming at Warren Western Reserve High School.
Kelly Carlson went on to graduate from Kent State University and was in the process of completing her master's degree in business administration at Webster University in San Diego when she died in April 2004.
''Kelly would volunteer at many of the Special Olympic events,'' he said.
Paul Carlson said the event reflects two important items in his daughter's life: swimming and Special Olympics. The Carlson family covers the expenses for the meet and volunteer at the event.
The event is a qualifying meet for the state meet in Columbus.