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June 02, 2014 | North America: Arizona

Standing Ovation

By Brett Meiners

This photo was taken in Laughlin Nevada at an annual fundraiser for the City of Mesa Bulldogs. Will (left) is one of our athletes.

I participated in my first State Games last November. The event was held at Vistal Golf Club in Phoenix, AZ. I have to give credit to Greg and Carol Leicht who spearheaded the event. Every detail was executed to the upmost perfection. The opening ceremony was huge. 400 athletes, coaches, parents, volunteers, police, fire, and other military personnel present. You can really feel the excitement during the opening ceremonies. All of the athletes did amazing during the games. It was electric! I even lost my voice from all of the cheering. On the final day of the State Games we were all eating dinner and hearing the awards being called. They asked the PGA Professionals to come onto the stage. We were presented with a plaque for the support and commitment to the growth of Special Olympics. We were surprised with a standing ovation from the crowd. The entire room was on their feet. I looked at all the athletes and parents and almost teared up. It was a very special moment for me.

About Brett Meiners: I am a PGA Golf Professional, City of Mesa Skills Coach, and Unified Partner in the East Valley Friendship League. I have been involved with Special Olympics for about 4 years in both Illinois and Arizona. I have a special place in my heart for every athlete, coach, volunteer, and parent that I have come in contact with. I've been wearing a SOAZ wristband to remind myself of the state games last year and how amazing it was. I have been inspired in so many ways and it's my personal goal to inspire someone and get them involved.
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