Special Olympics tops best-of list

Published 2:52 pm Tuesday, April 23, 2013

I enjoy a good mystery.

I suppose that’s the reason that I find myself drawn to television shows that focus on detectives and the job of solving mysterious cases.

One of my favorites used to be “Monk.”

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It was a show that followed a man named Adrian Monk, a former police detective that has suffered from intensified obsessive-compulsive disorder and a variety of phobias since the murder of his wife, Trudy.

Despite the challenges his condition poses, Monk’s photographic memory and his amazing ability to piece tiny clues together make him something of a crime-solving genius.

In the show, he often says his ability to remember even the smallest detail is “both a blessing and a curse.”

I feel that way about my job at times.

As the editor of our newspaper I often see both the best and worst in our community.

I’ve sat in courtrooms and heard the graphic descriptions of murders. I’ve talked to grieving families after they lost a family member in an automobile accident, and I’ve been on hand as law enforcement officers searched for a family’s missing loved one only to come up empty.

At those times, this job seems like a curse.

But I also get to be on hand for some of the very best events in our community.

I’ve been to announcements of job creation in Greenville. I’ve seen a kid hit his first home run, and I’ve been to dozens of ribbon cuttings for new businesses in the area.

It’s a blessing to be able to cover those events.

At the top of my list for events that make my job a blessing is the Butler County Special Olympics.

I went to countless sporting events during the last year. I promise that there wasn’t one that I enjoyed more than the Butler County Special Olympics.

Friday will mark the second time our county has held the event.

Special-needs students from W.O. Parmer Elementary School, Greenville Elementary School, Greenville Middle School, Greenville High School, Georgiana School and McKenzie School will be competing in a variety of events.

For these students, this is their one opportunity to take the field and compete.

I promise you’ve never seen so many smiles.

“This is a huge deal,” said Richard Kelly, event chairman and Greenville High School special education teacher. “It’s a life-changing opportunity for some of these kids.”

The event will kick off at 8:30 a.m. when the Greenville Police Department’s Special Response Team delivers the torch to the stadium.

Then it’ll be time to grab a seat and cheer on these athletes as they go for the gold.

If you can sneak away for an hour or so Friday morning you should make your way to Tiger Stadium.

I promise you won’t regret it.