ANTIGONISH, N.S. - Although they just helped serve supper to more than 800 people, on a blistering hot last day of July, you couldn’t wipe the smiles off their faces.
Melinda Butler, Janet Bowman, Caroline Fougere, Bernice Deon and Donald Fougere are Special Olympics Canada 2018 Summer Games volunteers.
“Everyone is so friendly,” Butler said, while the group took a well-deserved break in St. F.X.’s Morrison Hall dining room.
Her fellow volunteers offered nods and smiles of agreement.
“It is always ‘please and thank you,’” Donald said.
For the married couple – Donald and Caroline – giving up some of their summer to volunteer was a no-brainer.
“It has been amazing,” she said.
By Tuesday evening, they had two dinner and two supper services under their belts.
“It’s been busy,” Bowman said, while echoing a group feeling about how much fun they are having.
Donald also took pride in the pins he had already received from across Canada, including one commemorating the 50th anniversary of Special Olympics Canada.
“They keep handing them to me,” he said with a laugh.
More than 600 volunteers have given their time to the Games in Antigonish, providing a helping hand in a variety of areas, including everything from officiating to parking.
“It has been a phenomenal, phenomenal turnout of volunteers,” Antigonish Games’ organizing committee co-chair Carl Chisholm said in an interview earlier this week.
Those volunteers are back to work this morning, with the first day of competition.
Athletes will participate in bocce, basketball, golf, powerlifting, soccer, softball, swimming and athletics.
Rhythmic gymnastics will get underway Friday.
Fans are encouraged to come out to the free events and cheer on the Special Olympics athletes.
The Games wrap up Saturday (Aug. 4).