2004-07-30 / Sports

Rockaway Special Olympics Compete In Massachusetts

By Joe Featherston

Fifteen St. Camillus Special Olympics athletes and their families and coaches traveled by chartered bus on June 25th to Peabody, Massachusetts, to compete in the Annabelle Ryan Games.  Suzanne Ryan who is the Director of Volunteer Services for the Association of Retarded Children in Peabody, organized these games.

The games were in memory of Suzanne’s mother-in-law Annabelle, a Rockaway resident and Special Olympics supporter, who passed away last year.  Rockaway residents Richie, Kathy, Matt, Joe, Mary and Thomas Ryan drove to the games and Bill and Peggy Ryan came from Maine. Accompanying their friend, Thomas, were fellow volunteers, Neil Howard, Sean Kirby and William Trunston.

A special surprise for the athletes was the presence on the bus of Nora Ward and Jennifer Gilmore from Galway, Ireland. Our athletes had competed against their soccer team in the girls’ hometown in 2002.  Also on the bus were coach Kathy Clarke and Maureen and little Joseph Featherston. Coaches Christine and Sean Parchment generously flew up on their own to attend the games. 

On Saturday, Heather Huber, Paul Fitzpatrick, Danny Dory, Joesph Orban, Terrence Burke, Alana McCarthy, Jeff Resnick, Liz Sena, Patrick Carroll, Emily Hutton, Kurt Wagner, Kevin Reilly, Tommy Ryan, Patrick Tritschler and Mary Kate Gorry defeated the Peabody Challengers 6-3 in a soccer match. The two teams then went to a bowling alley together, enjoyed a barbecue courtesy of the local Kiwanis Club and played a “friendly” softball game. Suzanne then resented both teams with trophies and gave Annabelle Ryan Games tee shirts to them and their families.  This wonderful day’s festivities concluded with a buffet dinner and dance to a local D.J.’s tunes at the local ARC headquarters. 

The rest of the weekend consisted of a guided tour by the United States Park Service of a replica schooner of the 1700’s, an amphibious vehicle tour of Boston’s streets and the Charles River, and lots of swimming in the motel’s pool.

The Special Olympics athletes, their families and coaches wholeheartedly thank Suzanne, her children Whitney and Jaimie, Jim Jellison, a coach for ARC, and the Peabody Challengers for a marvelous weekend. They also thank all their financial supporters in Manhattan and Rockaway who make such memorable trips possible. 

Special Olympics Events Review

The Special Olympians traveled to many places throughout this year. Along with families and friends, they visited Windham Mountain in February for a weekend of fun. Rita and Flip Mullen, along with members from the Adaptive Sports Foundation and City Councilman Joe Addabbo helped to make the trip possible.

The Special Olympics Program marched in the Rockaway St. Patrick’s Day Parade in March. Longtime volunteers Christine Courtney and Sean Parchment were married earlier this year.

The St. Camillus Program held a successful fundraiser at The Saloon, a restaurant on York Avenue in Manhattan. The Special Olympians thank Owners Terrence Tubridy and Justin Zotts for helping to host the event.

The team won many individual and team basketball medals at the Fordham University Special Olympic Metro Games. The Olympians won medals at a track and field meet at St. John’s University. The program sincerely thanks Father Dunne for all his support at St. Camillus for our weekly training site and the support from the entire community.

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