Special Olympics

If you ever want to feel really good about yourself, do something that will give you a natural high for days. All you have to do is give a few nights out of your life to help others. Our Special Olympics program gets better every year with athletes improving dramatically. There is nothing more rewarding than watching your athlete making turns down the mountain, laughing and just enjoying themselves. It makes you feel so good inside to be able to help someone who appreciates everything you do for them. These days, it seems everyone is busy and has a lot of obligations with family and work, but it is worth finding time to help others. Helping with Special Olympics could be the most challenging and rewarding thing you’ll ever do. So come and join us Thursday nights from January through early March. You will meet some very “Special” people.

The York Ski Club has been helping with the Special Olympic ski program since 1986. We started in the Discovery Area at Ski Roundtop, where we would push, pull or drag the athletes up the short hill to get them started. The first lift they used was the J-Bar that went up the side of Fanny Hill. I broke the tips off a pair of boots by running beside the athlete yelling “don’t sit down”, “don’t sit down” as the T-bar slowly pulled them up the hill. I’ll never forget the night the parents were at the bottom of the lift as they watched each child ride up and “ski” down the short slope. There wasn’t a dry eye in the crowd. The parents were so excited to see their child do something they never dreamed of happening. For that moment, their child, (like every other kid on the slopes), was skiing!

We felt blessed years later when Roundtop installed the Magic Carpet in the Discovery area and the Drummer Boy Lift. Those additions have helped get new athletes to the program – skiing better, quicker. Not to mention saving the backs of the volunteers. We now have athletes that can ski the majority of the slopes at Roundtop and many have participated in the Special Olympics Winter Games at Hidden Valley.

If you need more motivation to get involved with Special Olympics, meet Loretta Claiborne, a truly inspirational woman. An athlete herself, she has overcome her disabilities as a child to be one of the most recognized faces and voices of Special Olympics. Loretta is our Hero.

Your donation of time and support is greatly appreciated. Thank you for caring enough to affect someone’s life in a positive way. For more information, contact Deb at dangst@verizon.net.