Special Olympics athletes honored at banquet

by Feb 22, 2012Front Page, NEWS ka-no-he-da0 comments




     “Git r’ done!”  exclaimed Tony Wolfe as his name was called to receive a certificate at the annual Qualla Boundary Special Olympics program banquet held at Harrah’s Cherokee Hotel on Tuesday, Feb. 21. 


Special Olympics athlete Tony Wolfe (left) receives a Certificate from Lana Lambert, Qualla Boundary Special Olympics program coordinator, during the program's annual banquet on Tuesday, Feb. 21. (SCOTT MCKIE B.P./One Feather photos)

    “I just want to thank everyone in the community for their support,” said Wolfe who is a long-time Special Olympics athlete. 

     The Qualla Boundary program was very active in 2011 and participated in numerous events including hosting the Far West Spring Games for the second year in a row.  Qualla athletes also participated in the SONC (Special Olympics North Carolina) Cheerleading Tournament, SONC Western Basketball Tournament, SONC Summer Games, SONC Western Bowling Tournament, UNC Basketball Clinic, SONC Annual Leadership Conference and several other events. 

     “2011 was a great year for the local program,” said Lana Lambert, Qualla Boundary Special Olympics program coordinator.  “The athletes and coaches had the opportunity to participate in a number of sporting events at local, area, and state level.  We also got to participate in some other activities as a group.  That was a great chance for us to become closer to each other and form relationships with other community programs. 

Special Olympics athlete Will Poolaw is all smiles as he receives his Certificate from Lambert.

     “As the coordinator, it was very exciting to me for our group to participate in the Cherokee Runners Moonlight Race and for our program to be able to help Special Olympics Missouri who lost their state office and three athletes in the Joplin tornado. In 2011, the Qualla Boundary program also saw the largest number of registered athletes participating in at least one sport.  I hope to see the number of athletes increase in 2012 and I hope that we can introduce new sports to the program.  Thank You Cherokee for supporting the Qualla Bounday Special Olympics!”

     Each athlete that represented the Qualla Boundary during 2011 received a certificate at Tuesday’s banquet including:  Amber Beaushaw, Gil Biello, Jeffrey Cox, Nicky Etters, Blake French, Nathan Gaddis, Courtney George, Destyni Johnson, Robert Kanott, Anthony Lansing, Gabby Milholen, Shasta Owle, Will Poolaw, Heather Quinn, John Queen, Emily Roberson, Jennifer Roberts, Blair Sinnen, Jacee Smith, Thomas Smith, Danielle Taylor, Eddie Taylor, Daniel Tramper, Andy Watty, Tsali Welch, Dakota West and Tony Wolfe. 

     Hosting the Spring Games was a large endeavor and the sponsors of the event were recognized on Tuesday. 

Bronze Level Sponsors – Cherokee Enterprises, Inc.; Cherokee Historical Association; Cherokee Runners; First Citizens Bank; Glenville Cashiers Rescue Squad, Inc.

Silver Level Sponsors – Cherokee Indian Police Department DARE program; Owle Construction, LLC; The Sequoyah Fund, Inc.; Walmart of Sylva

Gold Level Sponsors – Cherokee Electrical, Inc.; Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians; Harrah’s Cherokee Casino & Hotel

Big Cove Rep. Perry Shell (left) and Yellowhill Rep. David Wolfe (right) receive the Gold Level Sponsorship plaque from Lambert on behalf of the EBCI.

     Big Cove Rep. Perry Shell and Yellowhill Rep. David Wolfe received the Gold Level Sponsorship plaque on behalf of the EBCI.  “I don’t think there is a single more important program that we sponsor than the Special Olympics,” said Rep. Shell. 

     For more information on the Qualla Boundary Special Olympics program or to volunteer, contact Lambert 497-9827 or lanalambert@ymail.com.

     See a photo gallery (42 photos) from this event: