County honors Special Olympians

OKEECHOBEE — The Okeechobee County Board of Commissioners honored Special Olympians during the Jan. 23 commission meeting at the Historic Okeechobee County Courthouse.

Okeechobee News/Katrina Elsken
Okeechobee County commissioners honored Special Olympians at their Jan. 23 meeting in the Okeechobee County Courthouse. Left to right are (back row) Commission Chairman Terry Burroughs, Commissioner Kelly Owens, Commissioner Brad Goodbread, coach Bernard Marker, Commissioner David Hazellief, (front row) Commissioner Bryant Culpepper, Robert Sandefur, Jason Brady and Carol Marker.

The commissioners presented a special proclamation honoring Okeechobee participants at the Special Olympics Florida Games for Bowling — Boardwalk Bowl, held Dec. 7, 2019, in Orlando.

Robert Sandefur competed in Assisted Ramp Bowling division and was named the Gold Medal State Recipient Champion.

Jason Brady competed in the Unassisted Ramp Bowling division and was named the Gold Medal State Recipient Champion.

Carol Marker competed in the State Champion 16 and Under Bowling division and was named the Gold Medal State Recipient Champion.

“Determination, teamwork and good sportsmanship are qualities that help these participants earn their respective titles,” said Commissioner Bryant Culpepper, who read the proclamation in their honor. “The Board of County Commissioners and the citizens are proud of these athletes, parents and coaches for their hard work.”

“Without Special Olympics, we as people with disabilities would be sheltered in our homes and not be given the opportunity to show that whatever we put our minds to, we will win,” said Robert Sanefur.

He said the Special Olympics oath is: “Let me win. But if I cannot win, let me be brave in the attempt.”

“You as citizens and as commissioners, always remember you may lose or you may win,” he continued. “Just know that you tried.”

Special Olympics Florida is an accredited program of Special Olympics Inc., and was founded in 1972. It is one of the largest volunteer-driven athletic organizations in the state.

The county staff report noted Special Olympics is the world’s largest provider of fitness training, education and athletic competition, coupled with social life, leadership skill development opportunities for children and adults with intellectual disabilities or similar developmental disability.

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