Special Olympics 2005


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October: Area 8 Fall Classic

On October 22, 2005, Claire participated in the Motor Activities Training Program (MATP) events at the Fall Classic held at Hamilton Southeastern High School.

Terri announced the opening of the MATP event.
Claire and Tom listened as Terri introduced each of the participating counties and the athletes.
Claire loves hearing people talk over loudspeakers, especially when her name is called.
Hamilton County athlete Daniel tried his hand at the hockey goal activity station.
Claire did, too, but she was pretty distracted by Mom's camera.
Claire needed help with the balloon volleyball activity but she seemed to enjoy it.
Hamilton County athlete Robbie had a blast at the frisbee station.
North Willow athlete Eddie pressed down on the football player to make it kick the football.
Tom showed Claire how to hit the ball as well as he can.
Chrissy (from Clark County?) loved the football activity.
After Claire squeezed every octopus arm to see if it would make noise, she tried to put the rings on the arm.
Claire wasn't much interested in throwing the frisbee.
Hancock county athlete Veronica enjoyed it, though.
Hancock county athlete Brandon not only enjoyed it, he excelled at it.
Our own Robbie had a lot of fun at the batting activity. As you can see, he has a lot of enthusiasm and it's impossible not to smile along with him.
Erin had very limited control of her arms and hands, but she had enough determination to make up for it. She was able to shoot the football across the table several times, and we were just as happy as she was.
Athletes from North Willow participated in the balloon volleyball activity.
Hancock County athlete Zachariah was successful at dropping a ball into the basket.
Hamilton County athletes Roger, Robbie, and Woody received their medals at the same time, because they completed the course as a group.
Claire was thrilled when her award was announced over the loudspeaker.
It was especially exciting when everyone gave her a round of applause and Claire beamed with happiness.
I'm sorry that I don't recall which county these athletes were from, but they were very happy to receive their medals.
Zachariah, Brendan, and Veronica were next to be honored.
After the award ceremony for the North Willow group, the athletes and aides posed for a group shot.
It takes many volunteers to put on a successful program like this, and I am grateful to them for making it possible. The volunteers included students from Hamilton Southeastern High School, including one who knew Claire when they were students at Fishers Junior High.
Special Olympics is fun!

February: Polar Bear Plunge

On February 26, 2005, Debbie, Tom, and Jill partipated in the annual Polar Bear Plunge. Debbie's plunge was sponsored by her wonderful coworkers at Orchard Software. Claire watched from the sidelines while her father, Greg, photographed our jump.

The day was bright and sunny. Most importantly, it was nearly 40 degrees out -- 15 degrees warmer than the year before.
While we went off to get in line to plunge, Greg took this photo of the jumping area. Once again, firefighters and rescue workers braved the cold water in drysuits to keep the plungers safe. They were in the water for close to an hour and managed to keep smiling the entire time, despite the cold water.
Plungers were brought out in groups of up to 30 people. Those with large teams were among the first to jump. This is the nice bunch of people from Damar Services with excellent pirate costumes. Arrrgh, mateys!
The master of ceremonies was from WISH TV, but there was no additional news crew there this year. It's probably not as newsworthy when there isn't snow on the ground and ice on the water. He did a great job of talking to the different teams of plungers who were there to support Special Olympics Indiana.
We were pleasantly surprised to find that Claire's schoolmates at Sheridan High School had come out with Claire's teacher, Mr. Moore, and Claire's aide, Brooke, to support Special Olympics. In fact, they raised more money than any other team! We joined them in line and plunged in the same group with them. As we waited in line, the boys were bragging about how they were going to high-five every rescue worker in the water. There was no way we were going to do something that insane.
It was our group's time to jump, and Greg had a great vantage point from the shore. He shot all of the remaining photos on this page. We are at the far left of this photo, wearing Hawaiian leis and flowers in our hair.
In we went! Tom had learned from last year's plunge that it is best to be one of the last ones in the water, because the people behind you end up splashing you.
Once in the water, Debbie and Jill decided that maybe it wasn't so crazy to try to high-five every single rescue worker, so off we went.
Jill changed her mind after a couple of high-fives, but Debbie continued. She was heckled by one of the rescuers who dared her to dunk all the way into the water.
Ignoring his request, he sent a splash of water her way. That was enough to convince her that she wasn't a sissy and she was going to prove it.
As Tom headed back to shore (look for the blue lei in this photo), Debbie was making the splash in the upper right corner as she dunked under the water.
At this point, Jill started to wonder where Mom went, and looked back to see Mom still making the high-five rounds, soaking wet with a pink lei tangled in her hair.
Next, Tom started to play the "Where's my wife?" game, which he is often forced to play in malls and airports. He's not a fan of the game, but he plays it anyway. Jill was delighted to be close to shore.
Debbie was all smiles as she high-fived the last rescue worker. Her leg muscles had long since stopped working, so it's a medical miracle she was able to make it this far.
Cold, numb, but victorious, Debbie joined her family on shore and called it a day.

Thanks for reading!

Please take a moment to visit
Special Olympics Hamilton County's website!


Special Olympics: [2001] [2002] [2003] [2004] [2005] [2006] [Miscellaneous]

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