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Wednesday, June 23, 2010

A Very Special Day in State College, PA

Team Smiley and the Cookie Cruiser spend a lot of time in Pittsburgh and its surrounding areas, so it’s extra exciting when they take Smiley on the road somewhere less traveled. On Friday, June 11th, Smiley and his crew joined thousands of athletes and their families at the 41st Annual Special Olympics Pennsylvania Summer Games at Penn State University.

The Summer Games feature two fun-filled days of celebration and competition, in events such as aquatics, basketball, bowling, equestrian sports, golf, gymnastics, softball, and tennis. A ceremonial torch run kicked off the Games on Thursday night, and by the time the Cookie Cruiser rolled up on Friday, everyone was in full Olympic swing. In between their events, the athletes loved stopping by Olympic village to grab a bite to eat, rehydrate, soak someone in the dunk tank, and of course, decorate their own Smiley Cookie!
The Lehigh County women's basketball team takes a break with Smiley.
It was so amazing to meet all the incredible people there; athletes, cheerleaders, volunteers, and students alike worked to together to make the Games a really special experience. Because they came from all over the state, not everyone was familiar with our giant cookie friend, Smiley, and his delicious treats. Needless to say, now they are! Smiley made some great new friends as did the team. Nathan, from Lycoming County, spent lots of time hanging out with us. He had a cookie, inspected all his fellow athletes’ artistic work, and taught us a thing or two about basketball. I like to think it was the cookie, but the gold medal around his neck was probably the reason he couldn’t stop smiling!

Sarah and our new friend, Nathan

So, a big THANK YOU to all our friends, new and old, and the awesome volunteers from the Special Olympics! We may have brought the cookies, but you definitely brought the spirit and inspiration. It was truly a spectacular day and I know Smiley can’t wait to go back! Share

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