Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point -- Cherry Point Marines, Sailors and civilians bundled up and braved the cold to support the 7th Annual Cherry Point Special Olympics at the station commissary Jan. 7.
More than 160 volunteered at the event, a significant increase from previous years.
Special Olympians teamed with service member and civilian volunteers to compete in several athletic events during the games. Each athlete selected up to three volunteer teammates. Unselected volunteers created a large cheering squad.
“We had 30 athletes pre-sign up,” said Phyllis Black, the store director of the commissary. “Four of the athletes even represented Team USA in the 2012 London games.”
“Some of the favorite games over the years have been the pie eating competition, junk in the trunk, and turkey bowling,” said Black. “The turkey bowling seems to be the overall favorite.”
The event would not have been possible if not for the extraordinary group of volunteers participating, said Black.
“I just came out to have fun, meet new people and spend time with the athletes,” said Cpl. Tyler Small, an aviation ordnance systems technician with Headquarters and Headquarters Squadron.
During the games, Small partnered with Olympian Kari Lynn Myers. Myers has competed in the last three Cherry Point Special Olympics.
“It was a great experience,” said Small. "I was honored to be one of the ones chosen to help compete, and I only hope that it gets even bigger next year.”