Thursday, December 3rd was a great night for Special Olympics New Jersey! With the help of our fabulous volunteers and the holiday spirit that was brought to us by 8 different Girl Scout troops, caroling the night away, the night was a huge success. A little over 200 runners were present and (so far) over $12,000 was raised!
Many local schools showed their support in various ways. Notre Dame High School runners & Madrigal singers raised over $1100, they also created the Jingle All the Way 3K banner and all decorations in the gym. Fifteen Notre Dame students volunteered at the complex in advance to decorate and help with set up. Because of all of their hard work and effort, they were the winner of the Spirit of the Season award!
Lawrence High School had a team of runners, a large group of volunteers, plus the Lawrence High School football players were the *unified partners playing along side SONJ athletes in the unified basketball game.
Other schools that were present included Steinert High School, the Lawrenceville School (which had 2 teams of runners), and the Hun School (which had a large group of volunteers).
The Girl Scout troops from Montgomery, Lawrence, Ewing and Princeton donated over 600 ornaments and decorations. In addition, there were carolers present from troop #s: 99, 729, 1273, 1102, 70626, 70288, 70992, 71071, and 1179.
Award winners from the evening included:
- The fundraising winners:
- Highest Team – Montgomery Special Olympics New Jersey Local Program – raised $4593 with 37 runners/walkers/joggers present.
- Highest Individual – Tracey Shimonis-Kaminski with $460.
- Our costume winners:
- Carl Bauer (the snowman) an SONJ athlete who spoke at the start of the race.
- Kathleen Pental (the Christmas tree) who graciously took pictures with anyone who asked all evening!
A special award was presented to Chef Engle’s Culinary Arts students (Mercer County Vocational School) for their wonderful job in creating and serving chicken soup and chili!
Special thanks go out to MD Advantage for over $1200 in corporate and individual donations, Terhune Orchards for cider & donuts, Panera for the bagels, Costco/Stop and Shop for the Hot Cocoa Bar, and Montgomery Girl Scouts for 50 boxes of Girl Scout cookies.
* Unified Sports is a moving and exciting initiative for higher ability athletes of all ages, from youth to adults. Mixed teams provide the public direct opportunities to experience first-hand the capabilities and courage of Special Olympics athletes.