Buncombe County

Welcome to Special Olympics Buncombe County!

Special Olympics Buncombe county is sponsored by Buncombe County Parks, Greenway & Recreation and serves nearly 480 children and adults with intellectual disabilities throughout the county. Training and competitive programs are offered in 8 sports.

Volunteers make Special Olympics programs possible! Register today to coach a sport, help out at an event, or serve on a committee.



Karla Furnari will join Josh O’Conner as co-coordinator in Buncombe County. Karla has been on staff at Buncombe County’s Parks & Rec for a few years, and has worked closely with Joshin running Special Olympics in Buncombe County, and they have decided it is finally time she gets some credit for her hard work. Karla has experience coaching, runs- their social media, and has worked very hard to help introduce some of their non-competition events, like CrossFit, kickball and social events. You can reach Karla at (828)808-7519 or

Upcoming Events

Coffee for Champions project kicks off Monday, August 1
Mountain Xpress (blog)
Ryan the Coffee Pedlar was an early supporter of Coffee for Champions. Photo courtesy of Buncombe County Special Olympics …

Sports Offered

Contact Information

Local Program Co-Coordinators

Josh O’Conner

67 Haywood Street
Asheville, NC 28801

Karla Funari


Community Resource Director – West

Melanie Guntner Black

919-719-7662 x133

VP of Community Resources

Lindsay Waldron

704-358-1935 x161

Global Messengers

Global Messengers are Special Olympics athletes who have been trained in public speaking to serve as ambassadors for the organization.  They can recruit potential athletes, volunteers and sponsors through public presentations. To schedule a Global Messenger appearance, please contact the local coordinator.

  • Timothy Littrell
  • Rob Powell
  • Matt Paoletti
  • Paige Soderman