OLATHE, Kan. — A Johnson County, Kansas cheer coach is trying to raise money for two of her Special Olympics athletes to have the wedding they deserve.

Pam Claire, 62, and Chris Walker, 43, have been engaged for three years, but together for 13.

They met at the same housing complex and bonded while playing sports with the Special Olympics.

“Pam and Chris are great. They’re hard workers. They’re both leaders of the team. Pam’s our captain and Chris is our hype man,” said their cheer coach, Stephanie Mason.

The couple cheers for the Rangers, a team associated with the Special Olympics and the Johnson County Parks and Recreation. That sport is Pam’s favorite, while Chris is more favorable to basketball.

The two have been saving money to afford a modest wedding. Typically, the couple is involved in several sports each year through the Johnson County, but on the first day of cheer practice this year, Chris didn’t show up.

Mason said the reason for that is because he chose to only participate in one sport in order to save money for the wedding.

“When they said they were saving for honeymoon and wedding, it sparked an idea,” added Mason.

That idea was a GoFundMe. Mason and other staff at Johnson County quickly reached their goal but decided to expand it to $2,500.

Any money left over from the wedding expenses will be added to the couple’s honeymoon fund. So far, Pam and Chris have different ideas on where they want to go.

“I wouldn’t mind doing a Disney cruise or a Caribbean cruise,” Pam said. Meanwhile, Chris was eager to talk about Las Vegas, but also showed enthusiasm for a Disney cruise.

The event is a team affair. Mason will do Pam’s makeup, her sister will do her hair, and friends will provide the barbecue. Pam said she’s most excited about “spending time with family and friends and not having to worry about work for three to four days.”

The couple is technically having a blessing ceremony instead of a wedding next Friday. That’s because if they legally wed, they would lose some of their benefits through the federal government.