Area News – November 2014
Taste of Something Special Honors Athletes
Nine athletes from East Central/ Area 9 were honored as special guests at the 2014 Taste of Something Special fundraiser to benefit Area 9. Each athlete was sent an exclusive invitation with two tickets for family, coaches or friends to accompany. As the athletes arrived for TOSS, he or she received a personalized gift bag for attending the event.
Kimberly Stivers, a Global Messenger, was especially excited to show off her hardback photo book, complete with pictures from all her 2014 competitions, speeches and events. “I was so excited about my book that I asked people to autograph it for me,” Kim stated as she handed her book to the 2014 Special Olympics Family Festival Chair Celeste Webb to sign. Kim also recited the Special Olympics Athlete Oath before relinquishing the microphone to featured athlete Scott Pickerell.
Scott, an athlete from the Olney Rebels team, competed in the 2014 Special Olympics USA Games in New Jersey in June and received a second place medal in bowling competition. He wore his Silver medal to the Taste of Something Special to show event patrons his pride in having accomplished such an achievement. Although Scott reported “feeling very nervous,” he was able to provide the crowd with a recap of his experience while at the USA Games, adding “one of my favorite things about the trip was getting to go on the night cruise to see the Statue of Liberty.”
As the evening came to a close, each honored athlete who attended was asked to share his or her thoughts about the Taste of Something Special. Probably the most surprising, but satisfying response, was made by Tyler Hahn, CCAR Team athlete, who said “You knew it was my birthday tomorrow didn’t you, because this is the best birthday party.”
Taste of Something Special was held Oct. 16 at The WalkWay in Mattoon and raised more than $13,000 for Area 9. Thanks to Presenting Sponsors S&S Services and Duncan Window Company.
McKendree Sports Welcome SO Athletes as Honorary Team Members
The McKendree University bass fishing team was joined by an honorary team member at its Sept. 27 Fall Invitational held on Carlyle Lake. Special Olympics athlete Gordon Adams joined the team as an honorary team member and assisted in many aspects of the tournament, including bagging and weighing the catches of the day, and drawing out names for the attendance prices.
“It was really fun having Gordon be a part of our first event of the year,” said head coach Jon Rinderer. “We look forward to getting him on the water to catch some fish as the season progresses. It’s fantastic that McKendree is taking the initiative to pair our team members with Special Olympics athletes. Doing so will be a rewarding experience for all involved.”
The bass fishing team was the first team this year to have an honorary team member at an event, but nine other teams will join them by providing a spot for Special Olympics athletes. Football, men’s and women’s soccer, men’s and women’s tennis, women’s volleyball, hockey, women’s lacrosse, and softball will all be joining the bass fishing team by extending the opportunity to other Special Olympics athletes. Read More