While 400 athletes celebrated their track and field victories, the Milwaukee chapter commemorated its own milestone. This year marked the 10th anniversary of the chapter’s involvement with the city’s Special Olympics. “One of our roles is to yell and scream and make them feel like a million bucks,” says chapter president and 1979 graduate David Burpee. Once a group completes all the events, the 20 or 30 chapter members who participate annually line up the athletes according to their rank and award them their ribbons—making a lot of noise when the athlete is announced.
“We get more out of it then they do,” Burpee says. “The smiles on their faces, the enthusiasm they bring. We feed off their energy.”
This year’s event took place at Nicolet High School in Glendale, Wis., and Burpee says that many alumni now bring their children. “One member wanted to bring an entire youth group,” Burpee says. “I encouraged it.”