Local Special Olympics Athletes Seek Support
To assist local Special Olympics athletes attending the Alberta Winter Games you can visit the Vermilion Cornerstone Co-op Food Store on May 26, from 11:30 a.m. – 3 p.m. The upcoming fundraiser will include a barbeque and a bottle drive, with the option of bringing your bottles or calling 780-787-0694 for pick-up. The Vermilion-Vegreville Pole Kats Special Olympics Floor Hockey Team qualified at a tournament in Edmonton in November, and will be travelling to the Alberta Winter Games in Calgary in February of 2019. The team also won gold medals at a tournament in Spruce Grove in March. Team members from Vermilion include Captain Justin Wolgien, and Goalie David Rein who travel weekly to Vegreville for practice and will represent the team at the fundraiser with their jerseys and medals. Coach, Vivian Wolgien said, “I’m lucky to have a great bunch of athletes that come with a positive attitude, and it shows with the team going undefeated for the past three years. Their teamwork is incredible as well as their ability to work with one another’s handicaps. The kids had a blast, and qualifying was an opportunity that not many get.” Both Justin Wolgien and David Rein have worked in Vermilion for several years and are beside themselves at the opportunity to compete at the first Alberta Games to celebrate 50 years of Special Olympics. The team would like to get matching coats and pants as they will be doing a grand entry, and are in desperate need of equipment bags. According to Wolgien, many of the team members are in supportive housing, and some show up with equipment in grocery bags, so equipment keeps getting lost. “The team is not funded and volunteer-run, so we are very appreciative; the community support means a lot. Even if they don’t win a medal, they will have an experience that they will never forget!” said Wolgien.