2015-06-17, Randy Mascorella, Special Olympics New Mexico

John Pickett and Bill HartyPresident Bill called the meeting to order at 12:15 pm.  Bill Wheeler gave the invocation.  John Pickett led us in singing his newest rendition of “Home, home in the Valley (on the range).”  President Bill then led us in the Pledge of Allegiance.  Rotarians were asked to greet each other.  The mystery greeter was Fran Kemp.  President Bill asked Ted Shelton to introduce his wife and visiting Rotarian from the Juarez Campestre Club, Mary Lee Shelton.  Alex Keatts introduced his guest: Liz Lopes.  Steve Loman introduced his guest: Randy McMillan.

Announcements

Ross let us know that Don Moen is ill and is at Mountain View.  The wrap-up meeting for the Taste of Las Cruces event is tomorrow evening.  Final figures for the event should be available by our next meeting.

David Yaryan and Wanda MattiaceHappy $$$:  Ted: for the help we’ve given the Campestre Club – they need help again as four of the thirty-two houses they have built burned down in a fire caused by an unattended iron;  Kristi: an unhappy $, her daughter is deploying next week;  David:  an unhappy $ for turning 50, a happy $ for still lowering the average age of our Club;  Mel: an unhappy $ for hail damaging his roof, a happy $ - insurance is paying for it;  Keith: son got a full ride scholarship to NMSU Chemical Engineering;  President Bill: daughter Beth returned safely from her long road trip to the Western States;  Fran: got stopped for driving too slow;  Richelle: thankful that she doesn’t iron and won’t suffer the misfortune of leaving an iron unattended.

The Program

This month’s program coordinator, Jim Gerwels, could not make the meeting today, so President Bill introduced our speaker Randy Mascorella, Executive Director of the New Mexico Special Olympics.  Randy has been the Executive Director of Special Olympics New Mexico since 1992.  As Executive Director, she is responsible for the 3,100 athletes and over 6,000 volunteers of Special Olympics.  She began her career as an instructor of physical education and moved into the coaching profession as an intercollegiate women’s basketball coach responsible for recruiting at the University of Dayton (1978-1980), Indiana University (1980-1985), and Iowa State University (1985-1989).  Later, she moved on to serve at Special Olympics Iowa as the Director of Outreach and Training (1989-1992).  Randy has a B.S. in Health, Physical Education, and Recreation from Bowling Green State University and a M.S. in Education from the University of Dayton.

Christine Roybal, Jena McMillan, Randy MascorellaShe introduced her two guests: special Olympian Silver and Bronze medalist, Jena McMillan and the Special Olympics development director Christine Roybal.  Jena is Paul Comeau’s granddaughter.  Jena won her medals in swimming at the national championship at Princeton University.

Randy told us that she has devoted her career to impacting people’s lives through sports.  When at Iowa State, she was invited to welcome the Special Olympics.  She was so impressed by the great courage and joy shown by the athletes with disabilities, the support shown by their fans, family and friends and by the tremendous positive effect that the Special Olympics had on the athletes and all of those around them that she decided to make this her career.  Special Olympics programs are in 110 communities in New Mexico with 13 sports year round and 5 State competitions.  She described the events and activities of the Special Olympics in New Mexico and the sports in which the athletes of all ages participate.  One of the sports, Bocce, (Italian lawn bowling), seemed particularly appealing to some of the Rotarians.  A program, Project Unify, in which Las Cruces schools are major participants, pairs pre-K special needs students with 3rd and 4th graders who teach the pre-K’s various sports.  This builds great friendships and helps with understanding and respect for persons with disabilities.  In many cases, the positive effect is even greater for the student athletes without special needs.

Randy invited Jena to conclude the program by reciting the Special Olympics Oath: "Let me win. But if I cannot win, let me be brave in the attempt."

Jena McMillan and Randy Mascorella   Paul Comeau

After the Program

Special Olympian Jena McMillan was invited to select the winning 50/50 lottery ticket.  Kristi, (accompanied by her lucky invisible friend Minnie) won!  Executive Secretary Lya reported that the can had collected $74 for La CASA.  President Bill announced the programs for the next two meetings and then led us in the “Four Way Test.” 

<prior week   following week>

Guests of Rotarians

Guest 

Host

Liz Lopez

Alex Keatts

Randy McMillan

Steve Loman

Visiting Rotarians

Rotarian

Home Club

Merry Lee Shelton

Juarez Campestre

Student Guests-none for the summer

Make-ups

Rotarian

Date

Club

none

   

Submitted by Jay JordanJay Jordan