It takes a village to raise a child; it takes a dedicated and caring community to make an event successful. At the Driscoll/Mahegan Invitational Track Meet held on June 8t at Miller Field, our special needs athletes received a tremendous outpouring of support from a variety of local organizations, businesses, town departments, Veterans groups, school groups, families, and friends. WINARC, the Driscoll and Mahegan Families, along with the Winthrop Police Association want to thank everyone who contributed to making the event a memorable experience, a day for which we all should be proud.
The track meet had its origins in the 1970’s when the families of David Driscoll and Maureen Mahegan decided to organize a local track meet for the athletes who did not qualify for the State Special Olympics Meet. This year we celebrated 25 years of the police partnership with WINARC and the Driscoll and Mahegan families who jointly planned and sponsored our event. This community outreach police project was created by Detective Michael Delehanty whose legacy was honored at this special celebration. Because of his involvement (for the past 25 years) along with his fellow police officers, the event has blossomed in scope and size. Above all it’s an exciting and fun event that our WINARC participants look forward to each June.
It is with extreme gratitude that we thank the following community businesses. First on the list, is Marc Wallerce of the Winthrop Market Place who initiated a special gift card raffle, donated several cases of bottled water and fresh fruit, and created a police badge donation for customers. East Boston Savings Bank made a significant contribution that helped fund the T-shirts. The Blackstrap Restaurant and the Meat Market donated food to feed the athletes along with their families and friends. Balloon City provided balloons, and BJ’s provided gift cards that were used for supplies.
The following Winthrop Town Departments were in full force and deserve a special thank you: the police department, the fire department, and the DPW. Without their assistance, the event would not have been possible. Several local organizations gave their support as well: The Friends of the Council on Aging, the American Legion Post 146, and Harbor City Church.
The fine students of both the Winthrop Middle and High schools were actively involved in supporting the event. Ms. Amy Gallagher and the Middle School Council created banners and then stayed on to cheer the athletes along with the WHS cheerleaders. Coach Cadigan and his high school football team were there helping to set up and run the track and field events. We’d like to give a special shout out to the following people as well: Vasili Mallios, Ron Vecchia (the event announcer) Allison Earl, and WINARC Coach, Jim Fabiano along with his crew of adults and students who helped out with the Special Olympics practices throughout the year.
It’s fair to say, once again, the Winthrop community has stepped up and answered the call of support for our WINARC participants. We are all grateful and proud of our town.
Mary Crisafi, Winthrop Police Department
Ralph Tufo, WINARC Board Member