By Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Pedro A. Rodriguez, NDW Public Affairs
WASHINGTON (NNS) -- More than 40 volunteers from around Naval District Washington (NDW) joined in support of this year's District of Columbia Special Olympics Bowling Championship Navy Day at the American Machine and Foundry Capital Plaza Bowling Center, in Hyattsville, Maryland, March 2.
Volunteers served in a variety of capacities, such as athlete escorts, award presenters, and athlete staging personnel. In addition to volunteering in support of the event, Sailors interacted with athletes by speaking to them about their jobs and experiences while in the Navy.
"This is really important work that we do by volunteering for this. It puts on a good face for the Navy, especially to be a part of the community and the volunteer programs to give back to people we don't work with every day," said Cryptologic Technician (Collection) Seaman Jake Moore. "I just saw the chance to get out of the daily routine and give back to the local community, and I really enjoyed all the enthusiasm from all the participants. Everybody gave one hundred and ten percent on what they were doing and to see the athletes faces light up when you give them a high five or when you give them encouragement is a very special feeling."
After the games, all participants were recognized for their efforts. Awards were given for the first, second and third place, and Sailors were given certificates of appreciation for volunteering.
Volunteers that came represented different commands throughout the region, including Navy Information Operations Command Maryland, the U.S. Navy Ceremonial Guard, Naval Support Activity Washington and NDW Headquarters, and Commander Navy Installations Command.
Special Olympics is an international organization that encourages and empowers people with intellectual disabilities, promoting acceptance for all and fostering communities of understanding and respect worldwide. Founded in 1968 by Eunice Kennedy Shriver, the Special Olympics movement has grown from a few hundred athletes to more than 4 million athletes in more than 170 countries in all regions of the world, providing year-round sports training, athletic competition and other related programs.
"A lot of the volunteers that were out here last week, came out again today, because this is a really feel good project," said Hunter. "Even though we have four days of Special Olympics, each day each branch hosted to bring volunteers; but anybody from any branch can come any day."
For more information about Special Olympics and how to help visit http://www.specialolympics.org/bowling.aspx
For more volunteer opportunities within Naval District Washington visit http://www.cnic.navy.mil/regions/ndw/about/community_services.html
For more news from Naval District Washington, visit http://www.navy.mil/local/ndw/.