On Sunday, September 30, over 120 athletes who are differently-abled and more than 75 volunteers participated in the annual Special Games, an inclusive field day event presented by the Chuck Guttenberg Center for the Physically Challenged at the Kaplen JCC on the Palisades.
The games were held on the JCC’s sundrenched and spacious grounds. The energy was high, and children, teen and adult athletes participated in 14 exciting events, including golf putt, basketball, softball throw, Frisbee toss, soccer kick and bowling, as well as lacrosse throw, volleyball and an agility course. All athletes, sporting their Special Games T-shirts, received ribbons for each event they participated in. Great music, provided by DJ Randi Rae, was an inspiring backdrop for the day, and when the games were over, everyone enjoyed a delicious barbecue.
“The Special Games is a totally volunteer-run event that celebrates the athletic talents of our athletes, the commitment of our volunteers, and supports community inclusion,” says Shelley Levy, director of the JCC’s Guttenberg Center for Special Services. “Many of our athletes and volunteers return year after year, and we look forward to seeing their happy, smiling faces and to know that it is the spirit of inclusion we foster that brings us all together. It is a memorable day for everyone, as we support the athletes and celebrate their accomplishments. Due in large part to the generosity of our community sponsors, this year we doubled the donations we received—a true testament to the community of inclusion here at the JCC.”
More than 1,000 ribbons were distributed to participants, and more than 300 hamburgers and hot dogs were served at the barbecue. The funds raised will continue to support JCC programs for people of all ages with special challenges in our community.
The Special Games is held by the JCC Guttenberg Center for Special Services and is supported through the Chuck Guttenberg Center for the Physically Challenged, established by Adele and Bill Guttenberg in loving memory of their son Chuck. The center provides social, recreational, cultural and educational experiences in natural community settings, with appropriate supports, for children, teens and adults who are differently-abled. For more information about programming or the Special Games, contact Shelley Levy at 201.408.1489 or [email protected].