2014 Summer Special Olympics

SOMA 2014: Recap

With another MA HOBY year filled with OUTSTANDING alumni events in the works, we have just concluded our 2014 Special Olympics Massachusetts summer games event! Special Olympics is one of the few overnight MA HOBY volunteering events. Beginning Friday, August 8th, MA HOBY alumni gathered outside the dorms at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst to prepare for the long, fun-filled weekend.

Saturday morning arrived and the volunteers were off! Some headed to the ever popular Nonatuck Park in Easthampton, MA where they volunteered in bocce, softball, and at Olympic Town. Other volunteers made their way to Blunt Park in Springfield. This is a smaller venue that only features softball and Olympic Town, but the volunteers and athletes still had a great time. Saturday night, MA HOBY volunteers created a human-tunnel for the athletes to run through while everyone cheered on their hard work. Soon enough, the Olympic torch was lit and the dance begun. The athletes had a wonderful time!

Sunday morning came sooner than expected for the volunteers, but everyone was ready! While some went to Nonatuck and Blunt again, others stayed back on campus to help with the cycling tournament. This consisted of cheering, keeping time, and pumping up the spirit as athletes competed. After all of the work finished, everyone reunited back on campus for some final goodbyes.

Special Olympics stands as one of the most popular MA HOBY events not only because it is a weekend-long affair, full of bonding and fun, but also because it is one of the most rewarding volunteer opporunties MA HOBY has to offer. Seeing the smile and pure joy on an athlete's face when they score a point or win a game is what keeps the volunteers coming back each year. If you missed it this year, don't fret! We will be back at UMass Amherst next August to help out with Special Olympics! We hope to see you there!

~Andrew Morin