RICHMOND – Students of Basic Officer Leadership Course class 07-005 temporarily put aside their school duties to support their community, volunteering their time to Special Olympians at 2007 Virginia Summer Games June 15-16 at the University of Richmond.
This year’s event welcomed more than 1,500 athletes from around the state, competing in such events as bowling, power lifting, softball, swimming, and track and field events.
Festivities began with the opening ceremony on the evening of June 8 at the University of Richmond’s Robin Center followed by the parade of athletes, lighting of the of the Olympic cauldron, and the Law Enforcement Torch Run final leg.
The BOLC students assisted Special Olympics organizers and other local volunteers with various event activities to include award presentation, track and field judging, and athlete chaperoning.
Although the heat and humidity seemed to keep everyone a little uncomfortable, all of the BOLC students were happy to report they were enjoying the events.
“It’s what we do,” said 2nd Lt. Dwayne Gist of Syracuse, N.Y., “Part of being an Army officer entails giving back to the community, assisting with events like this and letting the community know its Army is here to support them.”
Second Lt. Deanna Levesque of Jacksonville, Fla. shared that sentiment.
“It’s good to feel like a part of two families, the Army Family and the local community,” she said. “I really enjoyed seeing so many business leaders, teachers, and even the local police force come out to participate with the games.”
Capt. Peter Caggiano, 07-005 class teacher-assessor counselor, said the Olympic event was an enriching experience for students.
“The Olympic Games provide our young leaders an opportunity to contribute to not only the community but provide a sense of pride in a job well done,” he said. “These young men and women were vital to the games, and their shining example of a professional leader set a great example of the United States Army to our local community.”
The 2007 Summer Games concluded Saturday evening with the awards presentations, the closing ceremony, and the victory dance, also held at the University of Richmond’s Robin Center.