2010-01-29 / Sports

Special Athletes Concluded 2009 With Holiday Cheer

By Joe Featherston

Susan Brady leads the trail. Susan Brady leads the trail. The Rockaway Beach Special Athletes/ St. Camillus Special Olympics concluded the year 2009 with a bevy of activities. In October, 25 athletes and their families spent a weekend at Pine Grove Ranch in upstate New York. In glorious fall foliage weather, they enjoyed rock climbing, horseback riding, hay rides, outdoor volleyball, fishing, the indoor pool, campfires and line dancing.

This spectacular weekend was put together by volunteer Susan Brady who was assisted by Christine Parchment. Coaches Peter Brady, Joseph Keenan (with his nice wife, Ann) and Rose Gurry (with husband Mike) accompanied the athletes and organized activities.

Next, the Olympians enjoyed a Halloween party at the St. Camillus gymnasium in October replete with costumes and dancing to the tunes of D. J. Joe Hutton.

In December Joe Mure hosted the athletes and their families at a private celebration at the Little North Pole. Santa made a surprise visit by fire truck. There was also loads of food, a choral presentation by a touring children’s choir from Poland and Christmas carols sung by Andrew Kenna.

The families enjoy a hayride. The families enjoy a hayride. Also in December was the Special Olympics annual Mass at St. Camillus Church, which was celebrated by Father Ahlemeyer. Several of the Olympians were the altar servers, brought up the offertory gifts, brought up the collection basket and led the Prayers of the Faithful. In addition, the processional hymn was sung by Mary Kate Gorry. The Olympians are thankful for the support that permits their use of the St. Camillus/St. Virgilius Parish gymnasium every Monday night.

Finally, the program had its annual Christmas/Hanukkah celebration at the Belle Harbor Yacht Club. Kathy and Kenny Courtney were gracious hosts, Mary Morgan’s food was great, and D. J. John Hutton entertained. The highlight was Santa’s visit.

Here we go again! Here we go again! All of the athletes, their parents and their coaches sincerely thank the community for its support which allows them to partake in so many activities. They also remember fondly Eva Kroll, Rita Mullen’s mother, who passed away and who always supported the program.
Enjoying a good time (left to right): Jennifer Romano, Colette Rup, Paul Fitzpatrick, Terence Burke, Heather Huber, Patrick Carroll and Alana McCarthy. Enjoying a good time (left to right): Jennifer Romano, Colette Rup, Paul Fitzpatrick, Terence Burke, Heather Huber, Patrick Carroll and Alana McCarthy.
The Special Olympians eat a hearty breakfast (left to right): Leanise Salas, Danny Dory, Salena Lanza, Kirsten McMahon, Emily Hutton and Joseph Organ. The Special Olympians eat a hearty breakfast (left to right): Leanise Salas, Danny Dory, Salena Lanza, Kirsten McMahon, Emily Hutton and Joseph Organ.

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