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Special Olympics banquet celebrates Sault athletes

Organization recognized its most improved, dedicated and sportsmanlike athletes

Special Olympics Sault Ste. Marie is reporting a busy month in September, with athletic awards, volunteer recognition, as well as news that one of its athletes will be competing in the 2024 National Winter Games.

On Sept. 26, the organization hosted its Athlete Awards Dinner and Dance for athletes enroled in the 2022-2023 season. 

Athlete awards were given out for Most Improved, Most Dedicated and Most Sportsmanlike:

Swimming – Nate Calendar (most improved), Brandon Fortin (most dedicated), Catherine Piccolo (most sportsmanlike)

Bowling – Mike Kennedy (most improved), Domenic Tremblay (most dedicated), Cory Ratz (most sportsmanlike)

Curling – Brandon Fortin (most improved), Josh Chartrand (most dedicated), Nathan Harman (most sportsmanlike)

Cross Country – Rachelle Barbeau (most improved), Jason Lemke (most dedicated and most sportsmanlike)

Snowshoeing – Jamie Hooper (most improved), Brandon Fortin (most dedicated), Chuck Showan (most sportsmanlike)

Track & Field – Logan Primeau (most improved), Teagan Harman (most dedicated), Brody Hill (most sportsmanlike)

Baseball – Dalton Duguay (most improved), Andrew Evans (most dedicated), Kevin Possamai (most sportsmanlike)

Walking – Jon Caputo (most improved), Jared MacMichael (most dedicated), John Allan (most sportsmanlike)

Dance – Karleigh Ouellette (most improved), Rachelle Barbeau (most dedicated), Kristan Bonefant (most sportsmanlike)

The Karl Fitzpatrick Memorial Award went to Tammy Running.

Volunteer recognition went to Valerie Bonefant, the longest active Sault Ste. Marie volunteer, who has been with the organization  since December 1997 (26 years).

"Our community is very excited and proud of all our athletes," Special Olympics Sault Ste. Marie said in a news release.

You can view photos from the awards event at this link.

The organization added that they are thrilled to announce that they have an athlete attending the 2024 National Winter Games in Calgary from Feb. 27 until March 2, that being Jamie Hooper in snowshoeing.

"Over the course of the next few months, the community will be working on a number of fundraising activities and initiatives to help raise funds for those athletes who will be competing at these National Games," organizers said.

One way they have chosen to raise funds is by making a donation online. Donations will be acknowledged and receipted immediately.

"Any support you can give our community (and our athletes) would be very appreciated."

Donations can be made at the this link.

Finally, the sport schedule for 2023-24 was announced, with locations and starting dates:

Walking Club
Bellevue Park
Saturdays @ 10
Sept. 16

Bocce – New!
Marconi Club
Wednesdays @ 5
Oct. 11

John Rhodes
Fridays @ 6
Oct. 20

10 Pin Bowling
Northcrest Lanes
Sundays @ 10
Oct. 22

Soo Curlers
Sundays @ 1
Nov. 5

Dryland Training
Fort Creek Hub Trail
Saturdays @ 10
Nov. 4

Cross Country
Hiawatha Highlands
Saturdays @ 10
Dependant on snow

Fort Creek Hub Trail
Saturdays @ 10
Dependant on snow

Track & Field
Jo Forman Track
(time and start date TBA)

Queen E Field 
(time and start date TBA)

New athletes and volunteers may self-enrol at, enrol at the first session of the sport or email [email protected] for assistance.

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