Manitoulin Special Olympics curling team sponsored by Western Manitoulin Friends

BURPEE MILLS­­–On Saturday, November 28, many friends of Manitoulin Island’s Special Olympics curling team gathered at the Burpee Mills Municipal Centre to offer sponsorship to Skip Regan Millsap. The team, while simultaneously participating in the fundraising bonspiel at the Gore Bay curling club, rushed in on time to enjoy dessert and to participate in caroling directed by Rick and Margaret Piche with accompaniment by musicians Jim and Joanne Smith.

World Summer Olympics gold medal winner Austin Featherstone was present to share the Olympic experience with the provincial champions. Austin’s advice was “Have fun and take this opportunity to meet new friends.”  After his inspirational message to the curlers Austin called on his friend Regan Millsap to introduce the provincial champion curlers.

After sharing her team’s aspirations and excitement about competing in Newfoundland next February, Regan asked her vice, Rebecca Strain, to model the team’s new curling attire prepared by sponsor My Old Blues. Rebecca received a resounding ovation as she twirled around the floor in her colourful attire.

Burpee Mills Councillor Wayne Bailey congratulated Regan and her fellow team members for their hard work. He stated that Burpee Mills was very proud of these young people and wished them well in the upcoming national competitions. He explained that the community was very aware of the exemplary support provided by the Special Olympic Parent Group. At this time, Mr. Bailey presented the guests’ generous donation of funds to support Regan’s participation in the upcoming national competitions.

After thanking their parents, their special sponsors and Manitoulin communities for the support they had received, Regan introduced the team members to the enthusiastic audience. At this time, some of the team members accepted the opportunity to publicly thank family and friends for their support.

The curlers expressed a desire to participate in at least two dances to the lively music of “Family Tradition.” Unfortunately, a call from the curling arena resulted in them being whisked away to present awards to supporting bonspiel curlers at the Gore Bay curling club.

As they prepare for this special event, may our eager young curlers heed Austin’s advice, “compete to win, but take this opportunity to have fun, and enjoy meeting new friends.”