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Jones Family of Edmond, a Special Olympics Oklahoma area family of year

Daily Oklahoman - 4/22/2019

April 22-- Apr. 22--Garrett "G Money" Jones stepped up to the yellow line on the artificial grass and smiled as he waited his turn to roll a bocce ball.

When he had rolled the last ball of the game, his family and team, the Edmond Superheroes, let out cheers, followed by fist bumps and high-fives.

Jones, 25, and the Superheroes, took first place in the Special Olympics Oklahoma bocce ball Capitol Area games Saturday at Putnam City North High School Stadium.

In addition to the blue ribbon, the Jones Family was named family of the year for the Capitol Area, which includes all of Oklahoma County, said Stephanie Palmgren, Special Olympics Oklahoma spokeswoman.

Bocce ball is a game played by rolling a larger ball in an attempt to land close to a smaller ball as teams take turns to roll and score points.

Before one of his final rounds on the bocce court, his mother, Jennifer Jones, walked up to give him a hug. His friends stopped by to give him a fist bump. Then he stepped up with his dad, Tim Jones.

Team members of the Edmond Superheroes include his siblings Porter and Maggie. Tim Jones said the competition was tough Saturday.

"It was hard. But we managed to do it. We got first place," Tim Jones said.

Garrett Jones, who has developmental disabilities, has also had more than a dozen surgeries, his mother Jennifer Jones said.

"We're proud that even when he is not feeling well, he is always brave in the attempt and ready to compete at Special Olympics events," Jennifer Jones said. She said he was extra tough on Saturday.

"He did awesome. He played really, really tough. Garrett has been really sick this week and he is but he decided he was going to be brave in the attempt and he was super brave today," Jennifer said.

Garrett graduated from Edmond North High School and has continued to participate in Special Olympics as an adult. He works at Oklahoma State University in Stillwater in the Student Union dining room. Jennifer Jones is an OSU assistant professor in the Human Development and Family Science Department.

Family friend Rebecca Reynolds wrote in the nomination for the award: "They (Jones Family) have been involved in Special Olympics for 16 years! Every member of the family participates -- as a coach, unified partner or athlete. The family has become proud educators and advocates for creating more inclusive communities."

Garrett held up the Special Olympics blue ribbon with the gold words, "skill, caring, sharing and joy," that gleamed in the April sunshine. Friends and family members took pictures with their phones.

"How did you get so good at this?" he was asked.

Garrett grinned and then said, "I practice hard."

Garrett said he will be at the state finals of Special Olympics Oklahoma next month in Stillwater.


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