By TIM BULLARD
NORTH MYRTLE BEACH — By selling Tootsie Rolls, Jeremy Williams and his parents have helped the Knights of Columbus raise funds to assist people challenged by life’s disabilities.
The family moved to North Myrtle Beach a year ago after living in Raleigh, N.C., for 24 years.
“Jeremy has Down’s Syndrome,” said his mother, Gracie, a speech and language pathologist. “All of the funds from the Tootsie Rolld drive go to helping people with developmental disabilities.”
Jeremy and his father, Henry, a pharmacist, are taking part in an activity that brings them closer together.
“He joined the Knights of Columbus along with his dad,” said Mrs. Williams. “Jeremy saw taking part in the Tootsie Roll drive as a way of giving back to the Knights.”
The Raleigh Knights sponsored Jeremy at the World Games in New Haven, Conn., in 1995. He competed in gymnastics, winning two bronze medals.
“This year the World Games Special Olympics are being held in Raleigh,” said Mrs. Williams. “Jeremy and I are going for a week to volunteer. He is also involved in the Special Olympics in South Carolina with swimming and golf.”
Jeremy works at a grocery store as a bagger four or five days a week.
“He likes it, and he enjoys people,” said his mom. “He gets to work on his own, riding his bike, two miles twice a day.”
Jeremy lives by himself in his parents beach cottage. “We’re really fortunate that we can offer him the ability to live at our beach house,” said Mrs. Williams.
While he cooks his own meals, his mom said, “He’s a real bachelor. He uses the microwave for everything. He’s really becoming his own person.”
Jeremy joined the Holy Name Society and takes part in events through the Horry County Disabilities Group.
“Between group events and Special Olympics,” said his mother, “Jeremy really gets a chance to meet other folks.”