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May 13, 2014

Cass County Special Olympians gather for annual luncheon

Cass County Special Olympians gather for annual luncheon

The American Dream doesn’t look the same for everyone.

And despite the recent musings of a political talk show host, Jerry Hoover says the American Dream is not dead. In fact, the Logansport High School girls’ basketball coach said it’s alive and well for the athletes gathered during a luncheon Monday at Angie’s Catering.

The dream “comes in many forms,” Hoover said to those gathered for the Cass County Special Olympics annual luncheon. “We celebrate and recognize today one of those forms.”

Currently living the dream is Jason Conrad.

Conrad said his love of sports was well known when he was in high school, but he was never able to play. But that changed when he found Special Olympics.

“Being part of Special Olympics has given me that opportunity to do what I love,” he said. “I am a starting point guard for Cass County Lions.”

Also addressing the crowd Monday was Sam Fawley, a Special Olympian for 16 years. The swimmer has his sights set on June, when he will compete in the Special Olympics 2014 USA Games in Princeton, N.J.

“My goal for the next Games is to at least bring back some medals,” he told the crowd. “I would like one to be a gold medal.”

Fawley said his time with Special Olympics has taught him values, social skills and to be a good sport.

“Being a Special Olympic athlete has made me a better person,” he said.

The spirit of the athletes is an inspiration to Deanna Crispen, executive director of the Cass County Community Foundation.

“Personally, I’m inspired by their sportsmanship and fair play, which I think we can all learn a lot from,” she said.

Hoping to add to the inspiration, Miss Indiana Basketball 2014 Whitney Jennings spoke to the crowd about her time as an athlete in the Logansport community.

The community has offered the standout many sporting opportunities, she said, adding she was thankful for every one of them.

“I feel blessed to have grown up in this community,” she said. “Logansport will always be home to me.”

Reach Misty Knisely at misty.knisely@pharostribune.com or 574-732-5155

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