Published 12:27 am Sunday, March 15, 2009
Despite the early morning chill in the air, the heat was on at the 2009 Pearl River County Special Olympics Track and Field Event last Thursday.
Hosted by Picayune Memorial High School and sponsored by the Picayune Kiwanis Club, the Special Olympics kicked off with the opening ceremonies. Special volunteers and guests were thanked including, 25 students from Webster University in St. Louis, Mo., who were in town volunteering with Habitat for Humanity of Pearl River County, and 17 students from Holy Cross in South Bend, Ind. The invocation was given by the Rev. Stanley Layton and the PMHS band, under the direction of Tim Garrett, led the Star-Spangled Banner. Then, athletes and volunteers followed the PMHS NJROTC, the band and the Pride of the Tide Dance Team, who led them in a short parade around the PMHS stadium track. Todd Ornstein was charged with carrying the Special Olympic torch during the processional.
The competition schedule included the 25/50 meter wheelchair race, the 25/50 meter assisted walk, the softball throw, the 100 meter walk, the running long jump, shot put and tennis ball throw.
Everyone was a winner on the day, including the many supporters who showed up to cheer on these dedicated athletes. High fives and hugs for completing the competitions put smiles on the faces of all who were present. Ribbons and medals were awarded throughout the morning.