- Last Updated on Wednesday, 10 March 2010 15:47
- Published on Wednesday, 10 March 2010 15:47
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Board initiates new program to recognize student-volunteers
Luke Jones and Sam Lilly, both students at King George High School, were honored by the School Board for their ongoing contributions in launching a Special Olympics swim team in the county. The recognition took place at a meeting this week on March 8.
School Board Chairman Lynn Pardee introduced the item, saying that the School Board “would like to begin a program of recognizing students that go out and help.”
Member Renee Parker presented the two high school students with plaques for their “service and assistance during the inaugural season of the King George County Special Olympics Swim Team, also known as The Red Tide.”
Parker added: “Your initiative and good will set the example for your fellow students to follow and serve to inspire swimmers, coaches and parents alike.”
King George resident Linda Davis was named Special Olympics Coordinator for King George County last August.
Parker read a letter from Davis and her team members, also thanking and praising the two students.
The letter stated, in part: “These two young men dedicated their time to a group of children they didn’t even know, just because they were asked to. Most adults who coach special needs children will tell you ‘it’s just like coaching any other kids.’ But you know what — it’s not. It’s harder. It just is. Maybe that’s why most adults wouldn’t attempt it. These boys attempted it, without fear or bias, they attempted something most adults are too afraid to try, and they made us all better because of it.”
The letter read by Parker also stated: “These boys looked into the face of autism, Down’s syndrome, cerebral palsy, brain injury, OCD, PDD, ADD and ADHD and saw children, just children, children with the ability to learn, the willingness to try and the heart to win. Somehow these boys with their limited experiences understood the importance of what we were trying to accomplish.
“The REDS thank you, Luke and Sam, from the bottom of our hearts for having faith in us. For somehow knowing we need patience, discipline and love, but most of all we need the chance to try. You are both on your way to becoming magnificent men, thank you for sharing your journey with us.”
Davis has so far initiated the Red Tide Special Olympics swim team, which is provided free pool time for practices and competitions at the King George Family YMCA.
She is preparing to establish more sports teams to represent the special needs community in King George, expected to include basketball, soccer and track and field.
Under Davis’s leadership, King George has joined the other Area 11 localities of Stafford, Spotsylvania, Caroline and Fredericksburg to offer Special Olympics to the county’s eligible children.
In addition to Special Olympics, Davis is a long-time coach of Challengers Baseball and on the county Little League Board as Vice President of Challengers Baseball of King George Little League.
Those interested in joining or volunteering with Challengers Baseball or Special Olympics may contact Davis by phone at (540) 809-8205.