Events

May 10, 2013

Airmen volunteer at Special Olympics

Volunteers from Nellis Air Force Base time and congratulate participants of the 50-meter dash during the 11th Annual Nevada Special Olympics May 2 at Cheyenne High School in North Las Vegas, Nev. A total of 80 volunteers from Nellis AFB volunteered for this event. The Special Olympics is the world’s largest sports organization for children and adults with intellectual and physical disabilities, providing year round training and competitions to more than 4 million athletes in 170 countries.

NELLIS AIR FORCE BASE, Nev. — Airmen from here, Creech AFB and their families volunteered at the 11th annual Special Olympics May 2 at Cheyenne High School in North Las Vegas.

More than 80 Airmen from various units supported approximately 1,900 athletes by organizing competitions, recording results and providing cheer support.

The purpose of the Special Olympics, according to the www.specialolympics.org mission statement, is to “provide year-round sports training and athletic competition in a variety of Olympic-type sports for children and adults with intellectual disabilities, giving them continuing opportunities to develop physical fitness, demonstrate courage, experience joy and participate in a sharing of gifts, skills and friendship with their families, other Special Olympics athletes and the community.”

Volunteers for this event weren’t hard to find because it involved children in the local community.

“Anytime you have an event like this, the Special Olympics or anything that has to do with children, it is never a problem getting volunteers,” said Senior Master Sgt. Brian LeClair, 99th Surgical Operations Squadron superintendent. “I sent one last email on Sunday asking for 25 [volunteers], and by the morning, I had [more than] 100 emails in our organizational inbox, Airmen just wanting to come out and help.”

LeClair went on to explain it’s more than the volunteering aspect of it all because people get an unforgettable experience.

A participant in the 11th Annual Nevada Special Olympics runs the 50-meter dash May 2 at Cheyenne High School in North Las Vegas, Nev. The first international Special Olympics Games were held at Soldier Field in Chicago, Ill.

“If you volunteer for the Special Olympics, you’re going to get more than what you put into it,” he said. “It’s that feeling they get inside, when helping someone out, cheering them on and helping them do their best. That is what the Special Olympics are all about.”

The Special Olympics wasn’t just a volunteer experience to LeClair. His experience as an uncle to two autistic nephews made this personal.

“For me it’s awesome. I have two nephews that are autistic, I know what it takes to raise those [children], support them, and the encouragement they need, so being out here with these athletes is something special,” LeClair said, with tears in his eyes.

Airmen who had the opportunity to volunteer for the cause felt like they were doing more than simply putting in time.

According to LeClair, what set this volunteer opportunity apart from others is the fact Airmen participated because they felt like being involved and making a difference.

“It’s not about the bullet, it’s about the feeling you get,” he said

 

Senior Master Sgt. Brian LeClair, 99th Surgical Operations Squadron superintendent at Nellis Air Force Base, Nev., cheers the 50-meter sprint during the Special Olympics held at Cheyenne High School May 3. LeClair helped organize approximately 80 participating Air Force volunteers.

 

Staff Sgt. Brenlyn, an Airman stationed in Las Vegas, tracks times for the 50-meter sprint during the 2013 Special Olympics May 3 at Cheyenne High School in North Las Vegas, Nev. Approximately 700 elementary school students and 850 secondary school students participated in the Special Olympics.

 

Jason Couillard
Senior Airman Timothy Ridge, 99th Force Support Squadron career development technician, assists a participant during the 11th Annual Nevada Special Olympics May 2 at Cheyenne High School in North Las Vegas, Nev. Approximately 80 volunteers from Nellis Air Force Base helped with the event.

 

The Special Olympics torch burns during the 11th annual Nevada Special Olympics May 2 at Cheyenne High School in North Las Vegas, Nev. Approximately 700 elementary school students and 850 secondary school students participated in this year’s Special Olympics.

 




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