Special Olympics celebrated in Stokes


By Robert Money - rmoney@thestokesnews.com



Special Olympic athletes break for lunch on Friday at West Stokes High School.


Dale Sands | For The Stokes News

Co-chair Ashleigh Parker with her daughter during Special Olympics on Friday.


Dale Sands | For The Stokes News

Athlete Anthony James and Dale Sands.


Dale Sands | For The Stokes News

Athletes participate in the Frisbee throw during Special Olympics at West Stokes on Friday.


Dale Sands | For The Stokes News

West Stokes cheerleader Olyvia Lawson with fellow teammate Brianna Cagle at Special Olympics.


Dale Sands | For The Stokes News

North Stokes softball player Sierra Hubbard helps with corn hole at Special Olympics on Friday.


Dale Sands | For The Stokes News

South Stokes basketball player Ashley James with her brother Anthony.


Dale Sands | For The Stokes News

Special Olympics celebrates 50 years.


Dale Sands | For The Stokes News

Fox 8’s Chad Tucker served as grand marshall at Special Olympics on Friday at West Stokes.


Courtesy Photos | For The Stokes News

Athletes carry the torch during opening ceremonies at Special Olympics on Friday.


Courtesy Photos | For The Stokes News

Fox 8’s Chad Tucker and co-chairs Mitzi Britt and Ashleigh Parker open Special Olympics on Friday.


Courtesy Photos | For The Stokes News

The opening ceremony at Special Olympics kicked off on Friday morning.


Courtesy Photos | For The Stokes News

Special Olympics was hosted at West Stokes High on Friday and more than 500 people filtered into the Wildcats football stadium for the anticipated annual event. Fox 8 and Stokes County native Chad Tucker was the grand marshal for the annual event.

“Today was a complete success,” said co-chair Ashleigh Parker. “Being able to help is an honor. I find it to be the highest privilege to work alongside our most exceptional population. The more time I spend with our athletes, the better outlook I have on life.”

Parker said she hopes to see the community rally around Special Olympics in months to come as she and organizers continue working to see it grow.

“I have a desire to see more than just spring games, but to see programs year-round pop up all across this community so that our athletes of all ages have the same opportunities as everyone else. It will take time, but it’ll be a great success because the hearts of those behind the operation are in the right place.”

Volunteer students from across the county came together and paired with athletes in events throughout the day.

“I hope that their hearts are touched, and they make memories that they never forget,” Parker said. “I hope they realize our athletes are just like every other person, not just a label.”

This year’s Special Olympics committee partnered with 47 businesses to help raise money for Friday’s event. Chick-Fil-A, Little Italy, Hauser Rental, Hanes Brand and Champion, Stormie Speaks Insurance, and North End Towing each donated more $300.

For more information, volunteering opportunities, or to learn more about the sports offered in Special Olympics a meeting is planned on Friday, May 11, 6:30 p.m. at West Stokes School Cafeteria (1400 Priddy Road in King) or email Ashleigh Parker at Stokes@sonc.net

Robert Money can be contacted at 336-749-1193.

Special Olympic athletes break for lunch on Friday at West Stokes High School.
https://www.thestokesnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/web1_2018-Special-Olympics-DS-3-1.jpgSpecial Olympic athletes break for lunch on Friday at West Stokes High School. Dale Sands | For The Stokes News

Co-chair Ashleigh Parker with her daughter during Special Olympics on Friday.
https://www.thestokesnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/web1_2018-Special-Olympics-DS-4-1.jpgCo-chair Ashleigh Parker with her daughter during Special Olympics on Friday. Dale Sands | For The Stokes News

Athlete Anthony James and Dale Sands.
https://www.thestokesnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/web1_2018-Special-Olympics-DS-5-1.jpgAthlete Anthony James and Dale Sands. Dale Sands | For The Stokes News

Athletes participate in the Frisbee throw during Special Olympics at West Stokes on Friday.
https://www.thestokesnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/web1_2018-Special-Olympics-DS-7-1.jpgAthletes participate in the Frisbee throw during Special Olympics at West Stokes on Friday. Dale Sands | For The Stokes News

West Stokes cheerleader Olyvia Lawson with fellow teammate Brianna Cagle at Special Olympics.
https://www.thestokesnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/web1_2018-Special-Olympics-DS-8-1.jpgWest Stokes cheerleader Olyvia Lawson with fellow teammate Brianna Cagle at Special Olympics. Dale Sands | For The Stokes News

North Stokes softball player Sierra Hubbard helps with corn hole at Special Olympics on Friday.
https://www.thestokesnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/web1_2018-Special-Olympics-DS-9-1.jpgNorth Stokes softball player Sierra Hubbard helps with corn hole at Special Olympics on Friday. Dale Sands | For The Stokes News

South Stokes basketball player Ashley James with her brother Anthony.
https://www.thestokesnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/web1_2018-Special-Olympics-DS-111-1.jpgSouth Stokes basketball player Ashley James with her brother Anthony. Dale Sands | For The Stokes News

Special Olympics celebrates 50 years.
https://www.thestokesnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/web1_2018-Special-Olympics-Banner-1.jpgSpecial Olympics celebrates 50 years. Dale Sands | For The Stokes News

Fox 8’s Chad Tucker served as grand marshall at Special Olympics on Friday at West Stokes.
https://www.thestokesnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/web1_2018-Special-Olympics-1-1.jpgFox 8’s Chad Tucker served as grand marshall at Special Olympics on Friday at West Stokes. Courtesy Photos | For The Stokes News

Athletes carry the torch during opening ceremonies at Special Olympics on Friday.
https://www.thestokesnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/web1_2018-Special-Olympics-3-1.jpgAthletes carry the torch during opening ceremonies at Special Olympics on Friday. Courtesy Photos | For The Stokes News

Fox 8’s Chad Tucker and co-chairs Mitzi Britt and Ashleigh Parker open Special Olympics on Friday.
https://www.thestokesnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/web1_2018-Special-Olympics-4-1.jpgFox 8’s Chad Tucker and co-chairs Mitzi Britt and Ashleigh Parker open Special Olympics on Friday. Courtesy Photos | For The Stokes News

The opening ceremony at Special Olympics kicked off on Friday morning.
https://www.thestokesnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/web1_2018-Special-Olympics-2-1.jpgThe opening ceremony at Special Olympics kicked off on Friday morning. Courtesy Photos | For The Stokes News

By Robert Money

rmoney@thestokesnews.com

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