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The 2018 Philadelphia Spring Games was held on Saturday, April 28, 2018, at William Penn Charter School. Athletes from Philadelphia and surrounding counties competed in athletics (track & field), basketball, and tennis. To kick off the day, athlete Raymond Anderson and John Boruk welcomed the crowd during the Opening Ceremonies. Frankford High School JROTC lead by Cadet Juvian Lopez and the West Powelton Drumline lead the Parade of Athletes which welcomed Montgomery County’s Track Team, Philadelphia Track Team, Delaware County Tennis Team, Philadelphia Tennis Team; and basketball teams: Chester Alex Avengers A, Chester Alex Avengers B, Chester Alex Avengers C, Philly All-Stars, Philly Bandits, Philly Dreamers, Philly Hoops, Philly Huskies, Philly Phlash, Philly Rebels, Philly Rebounders, Philly Warriors, Philly Wildcats I and Philly Wildcats II. After all the athletes took their seats, Frankford High School’s JROTC presented the colors and Denine Aversa, the mother of a South Philadelphia athlete, sang that National Anthem. New Special Olympics PA – Philalephia Director, Chase Trimmer, and Special Olympics PA President and CEO, Matthew Aaron, then gave welcoming remarks and wished athletes the best of luck as they competed later in the day. After welcoming remarks, Athlete Leadership Chair, Teddy Angerman welcomed everyone and introduced the rest of the Philadelphia Athlete Leadership Team. Victoria Amaradio, an athlete from South Philadelphia, lead all athletes in the Athlete Oath prior to the highlight of the Ceremonies – the lighting of the cauldron.
Deputy Commissioner Dennis Wilson of the Philadelphia Police Department, Cheif Dave Duffy of the Upper Gwynedd Police Department and men, women, and Police Explorers from Philadelphia and surrounding law enforcement agencies along with PECO employees, started their day at the Philadelphia Museum of Art where the Flame of Hope started its journey for the day. The Law Enforcement Torch Run ran 6 miles from the Philadelphia Museum of Art to William Penn Charter to bring the Flame of Hope to Opening Ceremonies to light the cauldron. As the Law Enforcement Torch Run got to William Penn Charter, they joined special guest Bernard Hopkins and Philadelphia athletes for the final leg. As the Flame of Hope came down the track and light the cauldron, everyone cheered and the 41st annual Philadelphia Spring Games officially came to a start!
Athlete then headed to their respective venues on campus to compete. Throughout the day, spectators and coaches saw great competition and sportsmanship between the athletes. After competition, athlete were awarded medals and ribbons based on their order of finish.
After Opening Ceremonies, Special Olympics PA – Philadelphia hosted their first every Unified Shot-put Experience where athletes got together with VIP guests to compete in the sport of shot-put. Athletes from Philadelphia who took part in this experience included Raymond Anderson, Eddie Glover, Jackie Lutts, Teddy Angerman, Sadika Smith. Athletes from Montgomery County included Robert Decker, Chip Tamagni, and Lauren Otterbein. Partners included Philadelphia Charity Ball Board members Jay Devine, Peter Cooke, and Colleen Holt-McCauley; Executive Advisory Board members Ernie Holtzheimer, Robert Croft, and Brian Monihan; Alex McConathey, and Fire Commissioner Adam Thiel. Every participant threw the shot-put twice, with their best score counting. Scores were calculated by adding each pair’s (an athlete and a partner) top throw together. In the end, Ernie Holtzheimer and Michael won with the overall high score.
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