Parade, rally to celebrate 32 state Special Olympics qualifiers


Wood County Board of Developmental Disabilities is “excited to host a fun send-off celebration to recognize our hard-working Special Olympic athletes heading to Summer Games at The Ohio State University campus,” states a press release.

On Friday, June 23 at 8 a.m., first responders will perform a drive-by parade by the Nichols Therapy Pool at WCBDD off Gypsy Lane Road, Bowling Green.

Community members, family, and friends are encouraged to participate in the mini-drive-by parade and the rally in the parking lot.

Confetti and music by disc jockey Mike Stanford will kick off the celebration. Posters are also encouraged to cheer on our athletes. They will head out for Columbus at approximately 8:40 a.m.

In total, 32 Wood County Wildcat athletes will prepare for a weekend “full of friendly competitions in bocce, track and field, and volleyball.”

“We have a total of six bocce athletes, 15 track and field athletes, and our entire traditional volleyball team, who have a state title to uphold,” states the release.

Volleyball coach and Recreation Specialist LeAnn Frankfather says she “is incredibly proud of the athletes.”

“Our whole season has led up to this,” Frankfather said. “Our athletes have a chance to defend their state title.

“They have worked hard the entire season to sharpen their skills and have been disciplined in their approach.

“These athletes are absolutely a contender for the state title again. Regardless of the outcome, I am proud of the dedication they have shown this season. They are a rock-solid team.”

Jen Krouse, Recreation & Wellness Manager and Wood County Special Olympics Local Coordinator attended last year and says she “is thrilled to be attending a second consecutive year.”

“Thirty-two athletes from Wood County are heading to Columbus to compete in the 2023 Special Olympics State Summer Games. This is their opportunity to put their talent, hard work, and dedication on full display,” Krouse said.

“This event is more than an athletic competition. Athletes will have opportunities to meet and connect with other athletes from all over the state and participate in various activities.

“It is a space to learn about themselves and to discover their abilities. It is an experience that builds confidence and strengthens self-esteem. Remember athletes to play hard and have fun.”

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