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Dawson County Spring Games take center stage
Special Olympics pic1
Dawson County High School Paraprofessional Linda Halsey, center, poses with Brandy Tallant, left, and Cheyanne McKinlay during the parade of schools preceding the games. - photo by David Renner Dawson Community News

After rain delays and changes in venue, the 2015 Dawson County Spring Games were finally able to be held last week.

The games were played from 9 a.m. to noon April 16 at Rock Creek Park with games and event stations rotating out every 30 minutes.

"It was somewhat of a challenge, trying to coordinate two different counties," said Dawson County High School special education teacher and event coordinator Chess Hamby. "It was well worth it to see the smiles on the kids' faces. That's what it's all about and you find ways to make it work."

The games, which focus on providing athletic training and competition for children and adults with disabilities, are mostly run through the work of volunteers.

"I thought it would be a good experience, helping out with the games," said volunteer J.T. Eggert, a senior at Dawson County High School. "It's been really good, helping out with the kids."

Also volunteering their time were students from the University of North Georgia.

"I'm an early childhood major, so this is what I want to do as a career," said UNG junior Chloe Andrews. "I really enjoy it and it's been a great experience."

Dawson County teams up with neighboring Lumpkin County to put on the annual games, rotating locations each year.

"We had more than 200 athletes in this year's games," said Hershel Bennett, Dawson County director of special education. "It was great, hearing the students talking to each other about what event they were going to be in next and cheering each other on."

Bennett said that the event could not have gone off without Hamby's coordination.

"We had a few rain delays and location moves, but we're really thankful that the park let us come in and use their facilities this time and bring it inside," Hamby said.

Overall, Bennett said the event "could not have gone better."

"I'd really like to thank our sponsors, The Civitan Club of Dawson County, Etowah Water and Sewer Authority, the University of North Georgia, Dawson County High School, John Kenny for being our announcer, and especially Rock Creek Park for saving us from our second rain delay," Bennett said. "Overall, I don't think the event could have gone better."

 

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