Special Olympics prove successful for volunteers

For the 16th consecutive year, Villanova hosted the Special Olympics of Pennsylvania; and for the 16th consecutive year, Villanova was a gracious and accommodating host for the event. SOPA is the second largest chapter in the United States and gives year-round training and competition to over 26,000 people with intellectual difficulties.

We would like to commend everybody who volunteered their time for this event, especially the committee chairs and assistants. The events were as successful and enjoyable for everyone involved as they have been in recent years.

The size of the SOPA chapter, combined with the sheer number of people expected, presents quite a challenge each year to all those involved in making the event happen.

This year over 1,000 athletes and 400 coaches from 58 counties in Pennsylvania were expected to compete. In spite of these high numbers, every volunteer did, as always, a phenomenal job with the Fall Festival.

The group of students, whose second home is Dougherty Hall during weeks nearing the event, deserves a special thank you for all of their time and effort. Besides dedicating themselves to an amazing cause, these students also give Villanova a bragging right that no other school has.

In addition to the entire weekend which was dedicated to the events themselves, the volunteers have spent countless hours preparing months in advance for such an undertaking.

The Special Olympics held at Villanova is the largest annual Special Olympics event that is totally student run in the world, which is certainly something to be proud of.

Only those students know how much work and effort goes into SOPA; the rest of us can only imagine. But we know that student volunteers make this into an annual event that everybody in the Villanova community, as well as all the athletes, looks forward to all year.

There are spectacular ceremonies, well-run competitions, plenty of food, friendly faces and lots of fun. As one of the many volunteer organizations here on campus, it is a treat to see all the smiling athletes around campus, and we hope that this 16-year-old tradition will continue for many more years to come.