Torchbearer Banquet Celebrates the Transformative Power of Sports and Special Olympics

by Katie Frost, Baylor University Intern

Special Olympics focuses on what an athlete can do, rather than what they cannot do. Disabilities fade away, and sport training, athletic competition and team work are implemented. To celebrate an athlete’s hard work, Midway ISD Education Foundation is honoring MISD athletes involved in the Special Olympics program and highlighting the accomplishments of six senior students and their selected teachers at a Torchbearer Banquet on Tuesday, April 24.

Midway ISD’s Special Olympics program is under the Special Olympics Heart of Texas Area, and offers competition in basketball, bocce, bowling, and track. MEF has chosen to honor Midway’s Special Olympic athletes by providing letterman jackets to qualifying students and hosting a senior banquet.

Midway ISD’s program helps build relationships and understanding between students with and without intellectual disabilities. Laura Sumrall, a parent of a senior Special Olympic athlete, is grateful for Midway’s support and has seen the program impact her child. “I am thankful that Midway made it known to us that this program was available, and to give our son an opportunity be a part of the school community,” Sumrall said.

Midway ISD Education Foundation’s Torchbearer Banquet brings people together to take part in highlighting an athlete’s participation, hard work and success. Ticket fees for the event will be $10, and the banquet will include dinner provided by Blanek Catering. Each student will select one teacher or faculty member to honor at the banquet.

“There are so many teachers that should be honored,” Sumrall said. “Midway has created innovative things for our kids, and I am looking forward to this opportunity to honor the athletes and teachers.”

The ultimate goal of Special Olympics is to allow people with intellectual disabilities participate as productive and respected members, and athletes range from 7th-12th grade. The athletes chant prior to each competition a courageous call: “Let me win, but if I cannot win, let me be brave in the attempt.”

The Midway ISD Education Foundation is underwriting this event in conjunction with special event underwriter Brian Townley (MHS Class of ’88), Realtor with Paramount Realty. Blanek Custom Catering and Shipley Donuts are also Gold Level Underwriters for this special banquet. To see a full list of honorees and to order tickets, visit the Torchbearer Web Page.