On Friday, May 29, 2015, I volunteered to photograph the opening ceremonies and dance for the Georgia Special Olympics Summer Games at the Emory University Campus in Atlanta, Georgia. It was my first experience with the Special Olympics, and I hope to have more involvement with this very special organization and the athletes whom it serves.
It was a night full of excitement which marked the beginning of incredible competition and feats of accomplishment by all the athletes. What sweet, sweet spirits I ran into over and over again as I watched the night's events unfold ... in the athletes, the staff of Georgia Special Olympics, the volunteers, and indeed, every person who came together to make opening night a success.
Being involved in this event was incredible. I was scheduled to be a Fan in the Stands through my full-time job on Saturday at the tennis courts. When I responded to Special Olympics about having to miss an upcoming conference call due to being out of town, I put aside the normal discomfort I often experience with putting myself out there and mentioned that I would love to photograph this event. I truly thought that all the photographers would have been lined up by then. One thing led to another, which goes to prove that you can't get what you want if you don't ask for it. I'm learning to put myself out there more and more and thoroughly enjoying the results.
If you are looking for a very worthwhile organization to become involved with, look into the Special Olympics organization in your area. I highly recommend it. Not only would it be good for the athletes ... it would be pretty good for you, too!