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Special Olympics 48th Annual Summer Games

By Ron Alonzo, State Charity Director

Vol. 4, 2016-2017

Knights from across the state of Texas participated in The Special Olympics Texas’ (SOTX) 48th annual Summer Games which was held this past weekend Thursday, May 25th – Sunday, May 28th, at The University of Texas at Arlington and surrounding area venues.

The four-day event is SOTX’s largest competition of the year, featuring nearly 3,000 athletes from all around the state of Texas. Competitors will participate in one of six sports: Athletics (track & field), Basketball, Cycling, Gymnastics, Soccer or Tennis. They’ll be supported by more than 600 coaches and 3,750 volunteers.

The Opening Ceremony was held on Friday, May 26 at 7:00 p.m. at Maverick Stadium, with TSC Director Pat Henz and Assembly Mary Queen of Peace 2112 (Arlington & Mansfield) participating in the presenting of Colors.

The athletes paraded into the stadium with their teams and were formally introduced to the crowd before the torch – Flame of Hope – was passed and the cauldron is lit, signifying the official start of the 2017 Summer Games.

The passing of the flame consisted of six segments. The Guardians of the Flame were members of Texas law enforcement agencies, and the torch bearers were athletes from five Texas regions.

The Texas State Council Knights of Columbus were recognized on Friday Morning along with many other sponsors. The total contribution on behalf of the Knights of Columbus was over $315,000.00. The TSC State Deputy Doug Oldmixon, TSC Director Ron Alonzo, TSC Director Pat Henz and TSC Committeeman Henry Gonzales attended the SOTX annual Summer Games.

Many Brother Knights volunteered in numerous capacities. The Mansfield Council #7736 and Kaufman Council #11721 have been participating for over 10 years. These councils prepared food on both Friday and Saturday for the volunteers. Many of the members wives also assisted during the weekend. Both councils mentioned that they look forward to next year’s games will continue to support the SOTX.

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