How I was effected by a crew of Olympians with huge hearts
The storm clouds were rolling in as we arrived at Silver Springs Golf club in Menomanee Falls, WI, just outside of Milwakee. Then the first good news came our way. We were setting up in what I would consider the coolest underground ‘bunker’ of a driving range I’ve ever seen. It was huge and impressive with a mountain of possibilities for our lighting and targets. It was also going to keep our players and supporters warm and dry no matter the weather conditions. Then the second surprise arrived. An army of highly motivated volunteers and special olympics athletes ready to help us erect our course. Never before had we received such support to set up our field targets.
In a matter of hours we had the wiring and targeting set up a day in advance. But what I really want to address was the effect all these young athletes had on me. I’d never been around men and women with disabilities. I, like many others lived under semi fearful illusions about who they were and how much they could actually contribute. In the end one thing became extremely clear. Yes, these men and women have varying degrees of cognitive challenge, but their hearts and souls are fully intact. In fact, they were the happiest, most emotionally in touch group of people I’ve met. You see, we’ve done 19 events on tour in the last year and a half and we’ve dealt with all sorts of assistants from helpful to down right entitled and resistant to any kind of work. But these kids were super into any challenge and grateful for guidance and involvement. All in all, I would do it again with this very same crew in a heart beat. They made what turned out to be one of our biggest weekends a complete blast.
Of course our first night was a thunder storm, but our ‘bunker bays’ were as I predicted, warm and dry and banging with music and games. I, on the other hand, had to run around doing the tech things I do, so by the end of the evening I was shaking hands with happy golfers thanking us effusively for the glowing good times, as I stood wet as a rat in the rain. But on Saturday, the sun came out and everything dried out and we had a second night of complete awesomeness….and I was dry as a bone thank god.
So many thanks to the Special Olympics as a whole for the great things they do to involve and empower young and old. If you ever get a chance to participate or donate to the Special Olympics, take the chance and see how your heart will smile. It happened for me and it will happen for you. Thank you Silver Springs Golf Club, State Farm Insurance, Bi-County Special Olympics and their director and grand rain maker Alicia