Howard County Special Olympics director Bob Baker was holding his breath April 25, as well as the next morning, hoping that the 13th annual Inspiration Walk would go off without many problems. There were a few parking issues, as well as some unfortunate wind, but overall the walk went off without a hitch under sunny skies.
The walk has produced revenues of more than $975,000 from those first dozen years, and this year's event will put the total over $1 million, which will be used to fund the organization's 20 sports programs for 605 athletes.
We were also introduced to the Howard County contingent of athletes who will be led by Diane Mikulis for the June 14-21 Special Olympics USA Games in Princeton, NJ. Those athletes are: Michael Keough and Nick Stewart (aquatics), John Adams, Thomas Logue and Russell Ulrich (athletics), Bryan Bourdon, Charles Gaines, Jeffrey Krischik, Kenny Long, Zackary McKay, Nora Nickle, Julia Phillips, Brian Slivea, Munir Vohra and Antoine Webster (basketball), Steven Miller (bocce), Alex Barnes and Peter Colabucci (bowling), Stephanie Baker (golf), Catherine Gruss and Thomas Smith (power lifting), and Philip Beijan, Nicole Dalrymple, Monica Evans, Erika Hagelis, and Meaghan Hyer (tennis).
Howard County's Special Olympics program will be sending the largest contingent of the state's 221 athletes.
Remembering Donna Ellis
Once again, I remember that there is always more to life than sports. The old Columbia Flier staff lost a valued and beloved member with the passing of Donna Ellis this past week. Donna was a special person, known for her food articles for many decades. She was witty, charming and such a likeable person. She just loved people.
Donna played a major role in keeping all of us informed, particularly in those early days in the newspaper office. If you wanted to know the best place to eat, just ask Donna.
Still, Donna was much more than merely a food writer; she was a caring person. Those of us who knew her were drawn to her. Every conversation with her contained something to smile or chuckle about. She maintained a strong relationship with friends and colleagues, and she was known to be a wonderful hostess for her parties.
Donna was one of those special people that you meet and never forget. She was a mixture of warmth and humor. The Flier family has lost a dear friend.
Golf tournament takes shape
The 5th Annual Gary Arthur Memorial Golf Tournament — named the Tiger Open after his alma mater Clemson University — is scheduled for June 6 at the Timbers at Troy. Entry is $100, with the proceeds earmarked for the Maryland Recreation and Parks Association Junior Golf Program.
GCS athletic facilities top notch
A big "thank you" goes out to Paul Weir, the athletic director at Glenelg Country School, for the wonderful tour of that school's new sports facilities. Two facilities, one already built and one soon to go up, were of particular interest to me. The school will soon break ground on a beautiful 500-seat stadium, complete with a press box. The project is scheduled to be completed by September of this year. It will be located between the artificial turf field and the Bermuda grass field, and can be seen as you enter the school grounds from Folly Quarter Road.
Paul also took me over to the baseball diamond, which I felt was certainly one of the best parks in all of Howard County.
I wish I could make it out to Glenelg Country School more often because I am always impressed with the beauty of the school's surroundings, as well as the people who make up the Dragon family.