By John Anderson

This has been a fun week for the photographers at Auburn Mass Daily. Posting three slide shows of the Special Olympics athletes in bowling, basketball and cheering was a tribute to these fine young people who put a lot of heart and soul into their sports.

Today’s slide show is about the opening ceremony and all the donors, vendors and volunteers who make this event possible. None of it would occur, however, without the hard work of Recreation and Culture Director Kristen Pappas. Ms. Pappas pulls off amazing events for the Town of Auburn, and last weekend was no exception.

After the Tuttle Post Honor Guard marched into the gymnasium, AHS Sophomore Renee Morin sang a wonderful rendition of the National Anthem. Dr. Arthur Pappas gave the keynote address and was followed by Senator Michael Moore.

Selectmen Chair Doreen Goodrich and School Committee Chair George Scobie shared some thoughts with the crowd, and then Massachusetts Special Olympics President Mary Beth McMahon thanked the Auburn community.

Representative Paul Frost administered the Special Olympics Oath to Leonardo Martins, Jr. before Auburn Police Officer John O’Brien was recognized for his many years of volunteerism.

Vendors filled the hallways of Auburn High and gave the athletes and their families something to do between games. Volunteers were on hand throughout the weekend to assist with scoring, play some games with the athletes or do anything else that was needed. They all wore big smiles.

One of regulars at the Auburn Special Olympics is the Elks Auburn/Webster Lodge which provided a free lunch to all participants, family members and volunteers on both days. Their great contribution is another reason this event runs so smoothly. Thanks.

See you all next year!

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