Special Day

The Arizona Parrot Head Club has been volunteering at the Special Olympics for years. It's a great event for us. We spend a couple hours, have some great times with the athletes and know that we're helping out our community. Then, we go drink beer. Pretty much a perfect day.

We were out there yesterday and ran the Shot Put event. The athletes range in age from 11 to senior citizens (I'm guessing the oldest one we saw this year was in his 60s). Some of them are pretty challenged and others are quite functional so we see the whole gamut.

There were a couple of memorable moments. The first one came during the parade of athletes. One of the guys bolted out of the parade and ran over to our table. Everyone had left their drinks on it so we could clap and cheer during the parade. This guy started at one end and worked his way through all of the Starbucks, Einstein's and other coffees. He picked them up, took the lid off, chugged, replaced the lid, set them down and moved on. He must have hit 5 cups before he ran back into the parade. We were too busy laughing to even do anything about it.

Courtney is someone we've seen every year and she's one of the many athletes who remember us. She got into the circle and did Fins Up for us. She also did it on the winners' blocks. Too funny.

A bummer is that, like too many organizations, the budget for Special Olympics has been severely cut. Last year, there were three people prepping and running the event. This year, there was only one and it showed. The heat sheets were a mess. We had to go over and get our medal box only to find it was missing the Golds and the 5th place ribbons.

Fortunately, we are at "acquiring" things so we found what we needed. We're also lucky in that we've been doing this for a while and that our Committee Chair, Mike, has worked with most of the athletes so we were able to keep things going. It just took a lot longer than usual.

After the event, we headed to one of our favorite spots, Hamburger Works. Steven was meeting us there and I called him when I was on my way. He had a pitcher of beer waiting for me. Nice!

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