TUNNEL … Williams County community members, loved ones, and friends formed a tunnel for Dawson Moore to run through as a one last goodbye before he participates in the Special Olympics. (PHOTO BY LINDSAY PHILLIPS, STAFF)
By: Lindsay Phillips
In the nineteen fifty’s and early nineteen sixty’s, Eunice Kennedy Shriver saw little to no justice in the way people with intellectual disabilities were treated.
Shriver saw how people were quick to exclude, ignore and neglect those with disabilities, despite the talents and gifts they had to offer. In nineteen-sixty-two, Eunice put her vision of a world where people would welcome these individuals with open arms, into action.
She began by inviting young kids who were affected with intellectual disabilities to a summer day camp, called Camp Shriver, which she held in her back yard.
Her dreams came to life when the first Special Olympics happened in nineteen-sixty-eight. Since then, there has been two-hundred and four countries to hold the Special Olympics.
This year one of our own, seventeen-year-old, Dawson Moore, will be competing in the largely known USA Special Olympics in Orlando, Florida.
Dawson will be running and participating in the 800- and 1500-meter dash, along with the mini javelin. The Track and Field team will be traveling by plane, to the All-Star Music Resort right on the Disney Complex.
With the support of the community, Dawson is the number one donator in the state, with a total over seven thousand dollars.
Community members, family and friends gathered in the Williams County Sheriff’s Office parking lot to support the first Williams County athlete on his journey to the Special Olympics.
Along with many others, Bryan Mayor Carrie Schlade was there to show her support of Dawson, and shared, “We are very excited for Dawson to represent Bryan, Williams County and the state of Ohio in the Special Olympics.” Schlade went on and stated, “We hope he has much success in Florida.”
Standing by Dawson’s side, was his dad Kaleb Moore. Mr. Moore shared, “The best experience through all of this is seeing the entire Williams County rally around him and with him.”
Bryan Fire Chief, Douglas Pool, brought one of the fire engines, and helped Dawson get up inside to take him on a parade through downtown to the High School, where more of Dawson’s supporters were waiting for his arrival. The firetruck was followed by other cars, including one of Bryans Police cruisers.
When Chief Pool, who was leading the parade, pulled into the high school parking lot, many people held up bright signs with words of encouragement.
Dawson hopped out of the firetruck and stood with all who came to support him, for a group picture.
Mr. Moore thanked everyone for coming, and asked Dawson what he was most excited for, Dawson replied, “to hang out with my roommates.”
Everyone gathered in two lines to form a tunnel that Dawson ran through just before he took off to Florida.
Lindsay can be reached at email@example.com