Wilmington Public Schools 3rd Annual Special Olympics Set For May 1

WILMINGTON, MA — Wilmington High School teacher Diana Hill, one of the organizers behind the Wilmington Unified School Day Games, recently came before the Wilmington School Committee to update members on the event’s past successes and future plans.

Hill announced that the first two years of the Wilmington United School Day Games, held at Wilmington High School, have been overwhelming successes.

“In 2017, we had 160 students participated as athletes and partners, including 123 from Wilmington Public Schools, 35 from Burlington Public Schools, and 2 out-of-district Wilmington students,” Hill told the Committee. “In 2018, the total increased to 229 participating students, with 139 from Wilmington Public Schools, 84 from Burlington Public Schools, and 6 out-of-district Wilmington students.”

“I don’t anticipate the participating numbers are going to change too much for Wilmington and Burlington,” noted Hill. “We invited Billerica and Tewksbury, but they’re content with what they’re doing. We may reach out to other districts, but 200 is a good workable number for us. I’m not sure we want to go too much bigger than that.”

The Wilmington United School Day Games have raised nearly $13,000 in its first two years. Any money collected that was not spent on the events was donated to Massachusetts Special Olympics.

“We raised a little more than $6,000 in 2017, thanks, in large part, to a huge donation from TJ Maxx,” said Hill. “We then raised $6,833.19 in 2018 with a lot more sponsors.”

Hill specifically thanked Connolly Printing, which donated all the t-shirts, signs, banners and programs for the event. Hill also recognized We’re One Wilmington for funding “Olympic Town,” which included games and a DJ. Hill said, this year, the Wilmington Rotary Club will provide food to spectators to buy during the day, but athletes and partners will likely continue to bring their own lunches due to allergy concerns.

In addition to thanking sponsors and donors, Hill took a moment to thank the event’s volunteers.

“The day would not happen without the volunteers,” stressed Hill. “We had around 100 student volunteers both years. They’re the first on the field around 7am to set up stations and last off to leave the fields… And we had about 10 adult volunteers from the community in year one, and 20 adult volunteers in year 20. If people reach out, we’ll find a spot for them.”

Hill has set up an email address — special.olympics@wpsk12.com — in case residents would like to volunteer or donate to the cause.

Hill concluded the presentation by asking the School Committee to approve her request of holding the Third Annual Wilmington United School Day Games on Wednesday, May 1, 2019, with a rain date of Thursday, May 2, 2019.

“This is the same week as last year — the second week after we get back from April vacation,” explained Hill. “I’ve checked with Special Olympics and they have the date open on their calendar. I spoke with [Principal] Linda Peters and there’s nothing currently on the WHS calendar either.”

“I sincerely appreciate your support of this event,” Hill told School Committee members. “We look forward to seeing all of you on the field at the Third Annual Wilmington United School Day Games.”

School Committee members did not have any comments or questions for Hill. A formal vote to approve the proposed date was not held, but will likely take place at a future meeting.

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