Tom Long, Manager of the Southgate Real Estate One office, experienced his very first SOMI Summer Games June 2-4 in Mt. Pleasant. He experienced the interaction with SOMI athletes and is hooked for life.
As I reflect on my first experience with the 2016 Special Olympics Summer Games, here is what I have come home with:I was absolutely overwhelmed with the number of Athletes that compete in the Summer Games, and what the Athletes must do in order to qualify to go to the Summer Games.
- I had no idea that there are approximately 24,000 Athletes in Michigan.
- I had no idea that the Athletes compete at local and regional competitions to make it to the State Summer Games.
- I had no idea that there are approximately 27 different sports, maybe more, for the Athletes to compete in.
- I had no idea the effort required to coach and supervise the games and effort to qualify all of the Athletes to make sure the competition is as equal as possible.
- I had no idea to the amount of coordinating it takes to put on the Summer Games and keep everyone fed and on schedule.
- I had no idea how much money and volunteer hours would be required to make Summer Games even happen.
- I knew that I would like it, but had no idea how much I would love seeing the Athletes compete and that I would be hooked for life at helping raise money for this Amazing Organization and volunteering as much as possible on their behalf.
Clearly, my theme is I had no idea. I sincerely can’t believe that I work for an organization that not only raises money for multiple charities and matches those contributions at 50%, but I work with an organization that believes in the charity so much that it will pay my expenses to go volunteer on their behalf. Wow! I hope to go to every Winter and Summer Game that REO allows me to participate in, regardless of who pays the expenses. I can’t stop telling people about it. It was awesome!