Special moments for Olympians
The Anson Record - 5/16/2019
May 15-- May 15--The 2019 Special Olympics Spring Games was hosted at Anson Middle School on May 1.
Sylvia L. Tillman, local coordinator for Special Olympics in Anson County, deemed the event the "best day ever."
Participants were present from Ansonville Elementary, Lilesville Elementary, Morven Elementary, Peachland-Polkton Elementary, Wadesboro Elementary, Wadesboro Primary, Anson Middle and Anson High schools.
Approximately 65 athletes participated in the Games.
Each athlete was paired with a student buddy from the Anson Middle School seventh and eighth grade Beta Club, and several Occupational Course of Study students from Anson High School.
"This was the first time that student buddies from Anson Middle experienced the opportunity to serve in this volunteer role," Tillman said. "Words cannot describe their excitement and level of maturity displayed throughout the Games."
Highlights of the opening ceremony includes the Pledge of Allegiance and national anthem being played by the Anson Middle Band; greetings by Superintendent Michael Freeman; Special Olympics prayer by exceptional children director Nancy Diggs; the Athlete's Oath by Mikayla Willoughby; and the 2019 Games Opening by exceptional children teacher Nelson Rushing.
The Torch Walk was led by Det. Josh Beam of the Anson County Sheriff's Office, with a representative athlete from each school following behind. The Anson Middle School Band, under the direction of Eric Howell, accompanied by the Anson High Varsity Cheerleaders. and Coach Kristie McCollum, kicked off the Games before going to the field for Track and Field competitions.
Kevin Tucker, community volunteer served as Games Announcer.
After the Games, each athlete and buddy returned to the gymnasium for the announcement of awards and the draping of medals. A victory lap was done by Sheriff Landric Reid and Commissioner Vancine Sturdivant at the Closing Ceremony.
"Bagged lunches were prepared by Anson Middle School child nutrition staff and enjoyed by all," Tillman said.
Tillman gave special thanks to Anson County Schools superintendent and executive leadership; middle school principal Danielle Blount and assistant principal John Martin, also the school's athletics director, and Tammy Horne, the school's Beta Club advisor.
Tillman also thanked Dr. Holly Stegall of Monroe, who donated time for all new and renewed medicals; Mary Kay Woods, school nurse and Special Olympics medicals coordinator; school nurses and social workers; Corey Ross, transportation director; bus drivers Kyle Davis, Ina McLendon and Stephana Spencer; Kaye Edwards and the child nutrition staff; Melvin Davis and Brian Gathings of maintenance; Anson County Sheriff's Office and the Wadesboro Police Department; Anson County Board of Education; Commissioner Vancine Sturdivant; Anson Rescue and Anson Emergency Services; Anson County Parks & Recreation; The Anson Record; The Express Newspaper; Anson County Schools exceptional children staff; program participants, principals, athletes, buddies, coaches, parents and community volunteers.
Bottled water donations were provided by the superintendent's office. Sponsor volunteer and monetary donations were made by the Wadesboro Civitan Club.
David Tamura will represent Anson County at the Special Olympics Summer Games in Raleigh on May 31-June 2.
(c)2019 The Anson Record (Wadesboro, N.C.)
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