Special athletes had their time to shine last week

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The annual Walton County Special Olympics is one of the most anticipated events to those families that include a special athlete and, as usual, last Friday’s games did not disappoint. There were some tears as Calyssa Parker gave the invocation and Kayla Martin sang the National Anthem at the football stadium at Monroe Area High School to open the games.  
After the opening ceremonies, but before the athletes took to the field for their events, Hands of Hope released white doves in memory of two athletes lost since the 2017 Special Olympics, Donnelle Gonzalez and Keenan Freeman.
“This was a very emotional and beautiful day,” said Janice Tribble, known for her dedication all year long to each annual Special Olympic event. “Thank you to all our sponsors, friends and everyone who reached out to our kids. God Bless You one and all.
Presenting Sponsor was the City of Loganville Police Dept. with a donation of $10,500 with recognition given in a presentation to Chief Mike McHugh and Asst. Chief Dick Lowry.
Platinum Sponsors were:
  • The Adams Family (Judy) in memory of Judge Greg Adams and in honor of Sam Adams Special Olympics athlete $4,000.
  • City of Loganville Events Kristy Peters, Danny Roberts and Robbie Schwartz over $4,000.  
  • Kathie Ivey from Walton EMC presented us with $6,000.

“We are blessed with wonderful sponsors,” Tribble said.    

Volunteers of the year awards went to two couples.
  • Howard and Jacque Brown and George and Suzie Wentz.
George and Suzie Wentz were recognized as one of the two couples named Volunteer of the Year. Photo credit: Sharon Swanepoel

Spirit of Special Olympics Award went to Andrea Williams of Monroe Area High School.

Spirit of Special Olympics Award Winner Andrea Williams of Monroe Area High School. Photo credit: Sharon Swanepoel

A whole host of other volunteers were on hand to help shepherd the athletes through their events and arrange lunch for all the athletes and their parents.

Volunteers preparing lunch for the special athletes and their families. Photo credit: Sharon Swanepoel

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