Newark Charter High student-athletes represent Special Olympics Delaware on Capitol Hill
posted Wed, Feb 15, 2017 by Jon Buzby
Several representatives from Special Olympics Delaware traveled to the District of Columbia to take part in the annual Special Olympics Hill Day on Feb. 15.
During what has become an annual event, Special Olympics programs from around the country descend on Washington, D.C., to meet with their local representatives to advocate for support of the important, life-changing work the organization does in each respective state for sports, health and education.
Special Olympics Delaware was represented by staff members Ann Grunert (executive director) and Kylie Frazer (dir. of school initiatves). Joining them were three members of Newark Charter School's state championship Unified flag football team. Head coach Chris Muscara was accompanied by players Eric Anderson and Keegan Cahill (Unified partner).
"It's been a great opportunity to come along with Special Olympics to support a cause that means a great deal to me," Cahill said in a text message during his trip. "I'm glad to be able to spread awareness and show that respect is always the way to go, while I'm right here in the heart of our country here in D.C."
Muscara was overwhelmed with the opportunity presented to his two students-athletes, and not surprised that each made a lasting impression on the other states' delegates and Special Olympics staff members in attendance.
"Keegan and Eric were fortunate enough to get to meet some of Special Olympics North America's top brass, who were impressed enough that they asked Keegan to be a guest speaker at tonight's dinner," Muscara shared in an email to his administrators during the trip. "The boys were treated with VIP status and never even realized the gravity of the situation until we explained to them how their story of hard work and dedication was the example our leaders were speaking about."
Cahill, a varsity lacrosse player at the school, shared his personal story about the experience of serving in the role of a Unified partner on the flag football team.
"Since joining Special Olympics Unified sports, I gained a friend I wouldn't normally have had," Cahill told the audience of his relationship with Anderson.
The teammates also had the honor of meeting Special Olympics Inc. Chairman Tim Shriver and Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos.
"It was a great honor to share my story and to meet Tim Shriver as well as our Secretary of Education," Cahill added.
The next day, Delaware's delegates met with Sen. Chris Coons, Sen. Tom Carper and Rep. Lisa Blunt Rochester.
"Each meeting took place in small, intimate setting in which Eric and Keegan demonstrated what Special Olympics has done for them personally, and, most importantly, what it has done for our school community," Muscara said.