Annette Hayden Havre Daily News email@example.com
The Havre High School Special Olympics Basketball Team left for Butte this morning headed to the state basketball tournament. "This is the second year for Havre to have a team in the basketball tournament,” said Zella Witter. "We thank (the community) so much for supporting our athletes." The tournament opens today with the actual games starting on Friday and continuing through Saturday. The following local athletes will participate in the team play: Erik Thompson, Rebecca Danielson, Aja Drew, Lance Seely, Callie Ann Coon, Joe Hayes, Tia Hess and Pat Ahern. Keely Wilson will be participating in the Individual Basketball Skills. The families of all the athletes will attend the tournament along with coaches Frank Witter, Grayson Winsor, Mandy Hansen, Jon Hansen and Zella Witter, and Special Olympics Director Shaylee Lewis. According to Special Olympics Montana, a 38-year-old movement enabling children and adults with intellectual disabilities to train for life through sports, the state basketball tournament is setting a new record of participants. The 2008 tournament is expected to feature the largest number of competitors in the history of producing the tournament, with 68 teams from all over the Big Sky registered to compete. Tournament Premier Fan Town Pump contributed $10,000. Town Pump spokesperson Maureen Kenneally is serving as the tournament’s honorary chairwoman. Gold Medal Fan REC Silicon donated $5,000 and will be the presenting sponsor of the Opening Ceremonies scheduled tonight at 7 p. m. Opening Ceremonies will feature the Parade of Athletes, the Tiernan Irish Dancers, the AOH Pipers and Drum, the Helena Cheerleaders sponsored by Westmont, the running of the Flame of Hope and the Lighting of the Cauldron. Other organizations and businesses who committed substantial resources gift-in-kind and financial include Employee Benefit Resources, Wal-mart Foundation, Ronald McDonald Charities, Rocky Mountain Chapter of Credit Unions, Granite Mountain Bank, RBC Dain Rauscher, PPL, Jim and Chloe Gilman Foundation, Duggan Dolan Mortuary, St. James Healthcare Foundation, Newland & Co., Ray Scan Inc., Morris Marketing Co., Pepsi, Quiznos, Butte Public Schools, Tucker Transportation, and John and Esther Cote & CCCS. As an athlete-centered, family-based and volunteer driven organization, Special Olympics Montana relies almost exclusively on the support of community volunteers, businesses and service organizations for leadership, planning and preparation, in-kind and financial gifts. To learn more about Special Olympics Montana or to receive information about volunteer or sponsorship opportunities, visit the Web site at www.somt.org, or call Special Olympics Montana at (800) 242-6876 or (406) 216-5327.