Sunday, August 9, 2009

A Great Summer Day

In my opinion there is no better way to spend a summer day than watching your kids play softball and yesterday was the regional softball competition. It doesn’t really matter that our team (with both Clark and Phil on it) lost both games and will not be going to state. We got to be outside for hours in 70 degree weather sitting in our Coleman camping chairs cheering not just for our boys but for Nathan and William and Nate and David and all the others on the Screaming Eagles who actually played quite well. I asked Phil if he thought their team played as well as the Mariners and without hesitating he said “yes!” I love that innocence, confidence and perspective.

I read in the news that Eunice Kennedy Shriver is in the hospital. She is credited with starting Special Olympics back in the ‘60s. I had no idea the impact it would have on my life. The online Wikipedia says

“The first International Special Olympics Games were held in Chicago in 1968. Anne McGlone Burke, a physical education teacher with the Chicago Park District, began with the idea for a one-time Olympic-style athletic competition for people with special needs. Burke then approached Eunice Kennedy Shriver, head of the Joseph P. Kennedy Jr. Foundation, to fund the event. Shriver encouraged Burke to expand on the idea and the JPK Foundation provided a grant of $25,000. More than 1,000 athletes from across the United States and Canada participated. At the Games, Shriver announced the formation of Special Olympics. Shriver’s sister, the late Rosemary Kennedy, had an intellectual disability and is often credited as Shriver's inspiration to help grow the Special Olympics.

In June 1962, Eunice Kennedy Shriver started a day camp, known as Camp Shriver, for children with intellectual disabilities at her home in Potomac, Maryland. Using Camp Shriver as an example, Shriver promoted the concept of involvement in physical activity and competition opportunities for people with intellectual disabilities. Camp Shriver became an annual event, and the Kennedy Foundation (of which Shriver was Executive Vice President) gave grants to universities, recreation departments and community centers to hold similar camps.”

I will be forever grateful for that wonderful organization.

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