As the 30th Annual All Sports Association Golf Tournament came to a close, the biggest cheers weren’t for the winners of the 3 flights in the tourney.
Nor were they for celebrity guest, Tim Brando, when he spoke.
The standing ovation, the first that anyone can remember, was for a team that finished one over par, some 19 shots out of first place.
When All Sports President Bill Kuhn asked the 4 players from the Okaloosa County Special Olympics team to come to the front of the room, the clubhouse at Rocky Bayou Country Club erupted in a standing ovation. A few tears were shed as well.
“I’m not sure why we’ve never done this (had Special Olympics represented), but it sure was a great idea,” said Kuhn. “As one of our major beneficiaries, it was good to have them here so our members and sponsors can personally see where our resources go. I’m sure next year, we’ll probably have teams from our other charities (Boys and Girls Club, Eleanor Johnson Youth Center and FCA) with their athletes represented as well,” he added.
Brando himself personally gave the Special Olympians hugs, high fives and posed for pictures before he spoke to the audience.
“I’ve been to more banquets and events than I can count, but you guys are different. You are unique. About the best way I can put it, is you guys ‘get it.’ You walk the talk. The All Sports Association and the Wuerffel Trophy are something special and I thank you for allowing me to be a small part of it. I’m honored to be a part of what you do,” Brando said.
Timmy B. has been a part of the national selection committee of the Wuerffel Trophy since inception in 2005 and last year was the featured speaker at the Corporate Fish Fry during banquet week.
He’s not one who is short for words, but this time around, his hugs probably eclipsed his word count.
“This was so special,” he said on the way out.
The 30th Golf Tournament was certainly “Special (Olympics)”. Special in a very “Special” way!