Find core values at Mississippi Special Olympics

  • Published
  • By Susan Griggs
  • 81st Training Wing Public Affairs
When Keesler puts out the welcome mat for the Mississippi Special Olympics Summer Games May 9-11, an army of volunteers is needed to make things happen.

This year's Special Olympics theme, "Rising to Excellence," echoes one of the Air Force's core values. Another core value, "service before self," is embodied in the months of preparation leading up to the 28th annual state competition.

Last year, more than 3,000 volunteers teamed up with event organizers to assure a successful competition.

Student Airmen from the 81st Training Group are committed to making weekend safe and enjoyable as escorts and weekend roommates for an estimated 900 athletes and coaches from across the state.

Potential volunteers might shy away from the event because they think it requires some kind of sports or technical expertise to get involved. People with specialized skills are vital to the success of any large-scale experience, but there are many tasks that mainly require enthusiasm and dependability.

At least 30 committees are working very hard to make the 2014 games memorable for hundreds of competitors. Help is needed for everything from sports events to food and water service, from setup to teardown of sports venues, from first aid to security and crowd control. Assistance is necessary to prepare the dormitories in advance for the weekend guests. If you're interested in track and field contests, golf or aquatic activities, there's a place for you as a judge or timekeeper. If you enjoy arts and crafts, you can put your talents to use in the Olympic Village

Some of us are enthusiastic cheerleaders urging the athletes across the finish line. Others are world-class huggers that greet our visitors throughout the weekend. If dancing is your passion, come to the victory dance and join in the fun.

"Any and all willing volunteers will be appreciated and utilized," stressed Tech. Sgt. Jennifer Reaves, Special Olympics volunteer coordinator from the 338th Training Squadron. "Either you can let us know where you'd prefer to work or you can just leave it up to us and we'll place you where you're needed."

To volunteer, call the Special Olympics hotline, 376-SOMS (7667).