Cumberland Times-News

Opinion

May 25, 2013

It was the happiest of times

CUMBERLAND — On Saturday, May 4, I had the pleasure of attending the Allegany County Special Olympics. I was there in the capacity as the grand commander of Wamba Caravan 89 of the International Order of Alhambra.

Dottie Turner and her crew of willing and able assistants hosted a great event for our Special Olympic athletes that was attended by our local athletes, and also athletes from Garrett, Washington, and Frederick counties as well.

The competition was intense as athletes competed in a variety of events from running, jumping, throwing, bocce ball, and numerous swimming events.

The camaraderie was also at the highest levels as competitors, parents, and fans cheered on their athletes across the finish line.

I sat on the tailgate of a truck watching the kids receive their bronze, silver, and gold medals.

The joy and excitement in these kids’ eyes would melt the undersized heart of the meanest Grinch. They worked hard and pushed to earn their medals, and we were all very proud of each and every one of them.

One athlete in particular really drove it home to me what we managed to accomplish that day. After he was presented with his medal, he jumped up and down with excitement and ran around his friends and showed everyone that would look at the medal he one.

I asked a friend sitting next to me, “When’s the last time you were that happy?” It was absolutely beautiful to see that pure and innocent joy out on display.

 I say we not as in Wamba Caravan 89 or the Allegany County Special Olympics Committee, but we as in the people that make up the surrounding communities of Western Maryland.

I have always maintained that the people that make up this area are second to none when it comes to taking care of those that can’t help themselves.

Every year, you come through and help support Wamba Caravan to help make Allegany Special Olympics happen. From the incredible support you show at The Hooley Plunge, to the Alhambra Catholic Invitational Tournament and to supporting us at Heritage Days by purchasing our world famous Alhambra sausage sandwiches, you help us to help Allegany County Special Olympics and other special needs programs in the community and in the local schools a huge success.

As the grand commander of Wamba Caravan, I give you a big tip of the fez and a very heart felt thank you and bless you to you for all your support.

As a guy who feels lucky enough to call this area home, thank you for helping to make Western Maryland a great place to live and raise a family.

Richard R. Biancone Jr.

Grand commander, Wamba Caravan 89

LaVale

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