Special Olympics Bowlers and Volunteers Encourage One Another

Sixty-one Cobbler students spent a day bowling with Special Olympics participants. Senior Randee Thayer found it to be a unique and powerful experience.

By Randee Thayer

Last Friday I spent the day volunteering at the Special Olympics Bowling tournament. That day was one of the best experiences in my life. I was able to meet amazing people that had happy outlooks on life. I had never volunteered before at any kind of activity like this, and I completely regret never helping out the last couple years. I never thought I’d enjoy being a part of this experience as much as I did.


This is Steve. Steve won first place in his bowling group and he was so ecstatic I could hardly believe it. Steve is full of energy and I could tell he truly enjoyed bowling. He kept trying to make a deal with me, in which if he got all of his pins down he would go buy me a soda. And then every time he would miss a couple pins he was get upset and I reassured him he would do it next time.

Another amazing person I got the pleasure of meeting was Shad. Shad was in a wheelchair but that would never stop him from bowling. He told me that he bowls every Thursday night, and I believed him, because he even had his own ball and knew exactly how to get a strike every single time. He had to boss me around in the beginning to tell me not to mess with the ramp: he could move it exactly where he needed it to be and he needed the hole in the ball facing down before he could push it down the lane.

Jenny Griffin, Central’s Cobbler to Cobbler counselor, has seen students experience similar reactions to mine. “The Special Olympics Bowling is a great opportunity for Central High School students to work alongside the athletes. Both students and athletes have fun and really treasure the memories of the day.”

Senior Tehya Harper was also volunteering at the Special Olympics, something she has done all four years of her high school career. She’s able to describe succinctly what makes it so fun: “My favorite part of volunteering is the feeling of fulfillment and happiness when I see the smiles on the Olympians faces. ”