Leadership Development Through Community Service

Sunday in the Park

bocce sign
Special Olympics Aukake Classic Draws a Crowd of RPJ Members and Friends

Gamblers say if you’re holding an eleven in Blackjack, you double-down. It’s a given. It’s also a given that if there’s a Special Olympics event going on, you’re sure to find a crew of RPJ volunteers helping out.
On Sunday, August 23rd, 18 RPJ members and friends served as bocce ball officials for the Special Olympics Aukake Classic held at the Waiau District Park in Pearl City.
Adon, Alicia, Elvin, Eve, Jeremy, Ryan M., Shelby and Winston were there from 7 AM. A few of them were later relieved when Anna, Blayne, Grant, Jon, Joy, Karen, Ryan L., Sansan, Tom and Wendy arrived.
There were over 20 bocce courts set up that Sunday, and RPJ helped officiate the unified teams portion of the tournament. A unified team is made up of one Special Olympics athlete and one coach or parent. Please read on and check out the pics after the jump.

Many shouts of “Bocce!!” erupted across the field throughout the day, showing how well the athletes trained for the tournament. Bocce means kiss in Italian, and it’s the term that players and officials alike would yell whenever the pallino (the smaller target ball) was hit. Hitting the pallino can be a fairly difficult feat considering the rough condition of some of the courts and the physical challenges many of the athletes have to overcome. Inspiration can be hard to come by, but it’s a given that one will see an inspiring feat or two on the field at the Special Olympics.
The next Special Olympics event will be at Hickam Air Force Base this December. Please check the Events page for further details in the future.