By Brandon HENSLEY
The Crescenta Valley has rapidly become an important part of the Special Olympics community and that partnership will be highlighted on Saturday at CV High School.
On Saturday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the high school, the Tri-Valley Special Olympic games will take place where athletes will compete in events ranging from running to jumping to softball tosses.
It will be the fourth consecutive games hosted at the school. The Tri-Valley competition is a regional event that acts as a qualifier for the annual summer games in Long Beach.
The event is sponsored by the non-profit organization CV CAN (Crescenta Valley Committed to Athletic Needs) which helped raise money several years ago for the new track and field at the school where the events will be held.
“We get a lot of kudos from Special Olympics about how well-run our games are, but we also want to do a little bit better,” said Grace Chase, board member of CV CAN. “So we’ve been working hard to put together a very organized, successful event.”
The day will begin with master of ceremonies Pat McClenahan, CEO of the Special Olympics World Games that will be held in L.A. in 2015.
CV CAN will be providing food, and will give each athlete a goodie bag for their participation.
There will be 12 delegations competing, coming from Oxnard, San Gabriel, Bakersfield and Glendale. Glendale competed last year but was not an official delegation, said Chase.
Community involvement is vital, and Chase said there are about 250 CV High athletes lined up to volunteer, as well as 60 coaches.
“It’s been awesome. We’ve had so many volunteers,” she said of the success in recent years.
Montrose Church will also have a large hand in the games. The church had over 250 volunteers participate last year.
“I think last year was phenomenal, and the people [who came] from [Montrose Church] were kind of blown away,” said Kim Villa who organizes the church’s volunteer program. “Just being a part of Special Olympics, it was their first exposure, so they just thought it was the greatest thing.”
Villa said over 450 people were signed up as of last Sunday to help out.
“If you look at it, we basically have almost two volunteers for every athlete,” she said. “Not that they work directly with the athletes, but it’s a great number.”
The public is invited to come to Crescenta Valley High School track to cheer on the competitors.