COAST GUARD CHIEFS HOST 27th Annual Special Olympics – presented by Habilitation Assistance Corporation
By Mike Camire, USCG Ret.
On Friday, September 18th, the Coast Guard Chief Petty Officer’s Association (CPOA, Cape Cod Chapter) hosted the 27th Annual Special Olympics event at the base gym on Connery Ave. Supported by over 125 volunteers and led by event coordinator, Senior Chief Chris “Chip” Melleby, the Chiefs and volunteers welcomed the Special Olympics athletes into the gym.
Programs from Plymouth, Upper Cape, Braintree and South Yarmouth competed in a variety of events. The Olympians marched into the gym as the crowd roared their approval. Mr. Bob Cleary and the Deputy Commander from USCG Sector South East New England (Captain Richard Schultz) delivered the opening remarks as the volunteers cheered them on. He thanked everyone for coming and volunteering, for being part of this truly magical day. Before the games began, the Coast Guard presented the colors led by FN Kaitlyn Haley, SA Derek Kaufman, SA Justin Coleman and FA Tyler Losacano. Everyone enjoyed the singing of the National Anthem from two of the athletes accompanied by the beautiful voice of Ms. Sandra Hicks.
Field event coordinators supervised the events as athletes competed in track events like the 10 meter assisted walk, 10 meter wheelchair dash, 10 meter electric wheelchair dash, 25 meter walk, 50 meter dash and field events of assisted bowling and ball throw. Some of the The “New” Coast Guard Chiefs were right there to hand out the gold, silver and bronze medals while other volunteers helped out with a variety of other duties as they helped make the day special for all the Olympians.
Once the events get going the athletes are flying all over the gym and medals are awarded; gold, silver and bronze. At lunch the Chiefs (judges) scored the banners that each program made for the event. The athletes literally go all out for this banner event as the winner gets an ice cream social for all their members. The banners represent their program and always exemplify the spirit of Special Olympics and what these wonderful people are all about. It was a close call. But the winner by the slightest of margins was Upper Cape, as their theme was “Appreciate the work of others.” It was a 3D sensory banner and it had a nautical theme to it. There was a lobster giving advice; like “listen well.” The crab said “strive for excellence,” they had a plane on it with this message; “Deliver quality service,” and on it went, finishing with “Hold true to our work.” The other banners were great, but the judges were just overwhelmed with the efforts from Upper Cape.
After lunch there were just a few events left, in the standing long jump Tim Roffey took home the gold with a jump of 5 feet 3 inches, the silver went to Christine Giordano and the bronze to Tom Caprice. In the 100 meter walk – relay Braintree took the gold while South Yarmouth brought home the silver and Upper Cape got the bronze. The last event was the biggie; The Dottie Marshall 100 Meter Memorial Relay Race. For the 3rd year in a row, the gold medals went to S. Yarmouth; Theresa McGarvey, Tammy Hines, Christine Giordano and Michelle Cote. Second place went to Braintree while Upper Cape captured the bronze.
Bob Cleary passed along many thanks to the following sponsors whose generous donations helped make the day such a tremendous success; USCG Chief Petty Officers of Cape Cod, Forestdale Bouse House, Smith Catering and D.J. Adam Russell. Gold sponsors ($300.00) were Botello Home Center, Entergy NuMotion, Audi of Norwell and Harris Rebar. Special thanks goes out to the Army too for the use of the gym!
The CPOA would also like to send a shout of thanks to the new Chiefs, who will help to continue this tradition of supporting the Special Olympics each and every year, namely AMTC Ian Gaertner, AETC Jake Sanders, AMTC Daniel Tones, AMTC Chad McFall, BMC Jackie Wood, BMC Brent Desirey, MKC Sasha Wilson, EMC Fred Blumberg and BMC Scott Habershaw.
Every year the Chiefs rally together for this big event, and every year the military and civilian employees in the area come through big time. Our Chief’s message is clear and I think it is the same message we get from the Olympians; working together side by side and pulling for each other no matter what the obstacle is, we will all succeed. Truly words to live by.
And as I always say at the finish, SEE YOU NEXT YEAR! This is an event you just shouldn’t miss.