A special day at Milton Frank

The Madison County Special Olympics were held Oct. 25 at Milton Frank Stadium.

The Madison County Special Olympics were held Oct. 25 at Milton Frank Stadium.

More than 300 special athletes from the area participated in the 44th annual track and field event.

“It feels good to be out here and help the special needs kids to have a fun day,” said Phillip Franklin a NASA employee. “It also gives us the opportunity to give back to our community. All the volunteers are donating their time. It’s really a great event for Huntsville and a great way to help our special needs children.”

Franklin said he is participating on behalf of his brother, David, who died five years ago.

“It was a great turnout,” he said.

Special Olympics is an athletic and recreational program for the mentally challenged, co-sponsored by the Joseph P. Kennedy, Jr. Foundation.

The event’s primary purpose is to improve the self-confidence of the children and adults participating; an improved self-concept can have a positive effect on all aspects of one’s life.

Special Olympics stresses the importance of finishing an event and trying one’s best.  Athletes from 8 to 65 years will participate, and each one will receive a hug and hear “good job” or “congratulations” following each individual’s effort.

Every athlete will also be awarded a ribbon no matter what place he or she finished in any given event.

Schools within Madison County participated, including Madison’s Bob Jones High School and Madison Academy, as well as Sparkman High School and Grissom High School.

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