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Lewes, Delaware
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June 19, 1998     Cape Gazette
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June 19, 1998
 

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Delaware Special Olympics opens with fireworks,studded ceremonies 'Let me win, but if I can't win, let me be brave in the attempt,'- Special Olympics motto By Dave Frederick The wild and free spirits of the Special Olympians were damp- ened and soggy last Friday after- noon, June 12, but no one seemed to notice. Hundreds of athletes stood out- side the Bob Carpenter Center at University of Delaware, many with medals around their necks won in the afternoon's aquatic competition, in anxious anticipa- tion of marching onto the field- house floor with their teammates and coaches to celebrate opening ceremonies of a weekend of com- petition. Delaware Special Olympics was primetime! "It always gives me a lump in my throat," said Branda Zullo, a Special Olympics worker, who is also a coach with the Land Shark's team. "Knowing all the people who volunteer and the hundreds of kids involved and to see them pull it off is just amazing. Sometimes I just don't know how we do it," said Zullo. Special Olympics does it by harnessing a "labor of love" men- tality that networks throughout the tiny state of Delaware, encom- passing such diverse groups as the Lewes Polar Bears, law enforce- ment officers, bankers, Knights of Columbus and Happy Harry's Discount Stores. But it's the athletes and their families, along with unified team- mates and coaches, that take cen- ter stage across a myriad of athlet- ic events, from swimming and track and field to weight lifting, bowling, basketball, softball and bocce. According to Delaware Special Olympics (DSO) Executive Di- rector Ann Grunert, "1997-98 was a landmark year for 1,400 ath- letes, their families and thousands of volunteers. Mark Jones, 1996 DSO Athlete of the Year, became the Land Shark's track and field coach; Jonathan Stoklosa and Darryl Barnes each set Special Olympics world records in power- lifting; and after five years of training, Penny West competed in an aquatics competition without her flotation device." Land Sharks and Enn:: School. The 1997 Lewes Polar Bear Plunge was credited with raising the most money for Special Olympics. A record number of bears, more than 684 plungers jumping for the first time in Re- hoboth Beach, raised more than $125,000, thanks also to the addi- tion of two new corporate spon- sors - Happy Harry's and First USA and a matching gift from Proctor and Gamble. Local bears may redeem one Rehoboth park- ing ticket with proof of plunging. Gov. Tom Carper spoke at opening ceremonies, as did Attor- ney General Jane Brady. Bob Marvel, credited with establishing Special Olympics in Delaware in 1971, after a surprise phone call from Eunice Kennedy Shriver, Attorney General Jane Brady, a Sussex Countian, walked through the ballooned-archway with the local De-Terminator team - a squad of 40, captained by program director Janie Miller. The Miller family of Rehoboth Beach was the 1997 Special Olympics Family of the Year. The family includes Janie and Rich; along with chil- dren Angela, Henry, Richie and Reggie; and their cousins John and Tenesha Duffy. Other downstate programs com- peting included Stockley Center, was given a plaque for commit- ment and service to the program. The Olympians in the stands were respectful but cheered the loudest for their peers like Athlete of the Year. Jason Stevenson and Hall of Fame Inductee Carol Bak. And when bright white sparklers popped and burst into the rafters of the Bob Carpenter Center and the torch was passed from Ralph John- son, retired officer of Newark Po- lice Department, to Larry Zucker of the Thunderbears, everybody stood and cheered. Remote cam- eras "Torch Cam" allowed the crowd to follow the torch outside where the cauldron was lighted signaling the beginning of the games. And in the words of Grunert: "As the athletes raise the bar of performance for themselves - so too, they raise the bar for us." Delaware Special Olympics: sports the way it's supposed to be. The Sussex De-Terminators team, led by Delaware Attorney General Jane Brady, parades into University of Delaware's Bob Carpenter Center. REHOBOTH BEACH RECREATION DEPARTMENT Public Tennis Courts 7:00 a.m.- 7:00 p.m. 7 Days A Week $7/hour  Phone 227-3598  No phone reservations accepted ",'.. Arl:s & G--00ove Tuesday & Thursday 9:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. FREE Instructor Karyn Jennings Ages (5-12), 227-4648 Now thru August 27th CAPE GAZETII, Friday, June 19 - June 25, 1998 - 89 Motor Oil Blended with Z-7 for increased gas mileage and engine protection. 10W30 or 10W40. 84382,83 Advertised price may not include applicable state surcharge taxes or disposal fees. 19 """-"-"' QT. Rnish 2001 Car Polish Urethane enriched silicone formula keeps cars looking new. Buffs to glossy shine. One aplication lasts through 52 washes. 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