Story By Dorothy Markulis
If life is a little boring and things have become a little too ho hum, and you want to see children succeed, have we got a project for you.
The Weaver Sports Booster Club is looking for volunteers and financial support.
This small group of tireless workers wants to share with you the joy of giving to those with developmental disabilities.
“If you have a heart for children, then we need you,” said , president of the Weaver Sports Club.
The Weaver Sports Club is a primary backer for the Summit County Special Olympics. It provides funding and opportunity for the developmentally disabled to participate in a wide range of sports including ice skating, skiing, volleyball, soccer, bowling, softball, cheerleading, basketball, golf, and track and field.
Vanscoy has been president of the club so long, that even he forgets how long he has served. But he just keeps going to serve special youth.
“Our club pays for uniforms, equipment, sports banquets, lodging and food,” Vanscoy stated.
This year the club is sponsoring nearly 200 participants.
“We just have a few parents involved,” said Vanscoy’s wife Martha. “It’s not enough to do all the things we want to do.”
The Vanscoys have been involved with the Weaver Sports club for decades. They have five children, two of which are developmentally disabled. One of them is adopted.
Martha, who worked as an assistant instructor at Weaver School for 30 years, and her husband have made it their mission to provide the sports experience to the developmentally disabled.
“God gave us a job,” Martha said.
And they wouldn’t trade a minute of it.
“Because of our boys, we have met a lot of wonderful people,” she explained.
Their days are full with a multitude of fund raisers and bus trips with the children to sports competition everywhere.
“We’ve been taking those bus trips for 35 years,” Martha said. “We’re probably going to die on a bus trip one of these days.”
According to the Vanscoys, in addition to the fun the kids have participating in sports, their participation builds self-esteem, teaches self-help skills, gives them practical budgeting skills and develops camaraderie.
But volunteers are a critical need, even though the Vanscoys have made the Weaver Sports Club a family affair.
“Our children have helped through the years and now our grandchildren are helping,” Martha added.
Crystal Noel is another volunteer who has made the Weaver Sports Club a family affair.
Crystal, 34, has a sister participating in the sports program.
“I’ve been involved since I was 18,” Crystal stated.
“I was a volunteer coach in cheerleading, volleyball and softball. Now I’m helping with a social media page and taking pictures,” Crystal said.
Pam Davis, director of the Summit County Special Olympics, is very grateful for volunteers.
“They are a valuable resource,” Davis said. “We are always in need of volunteers.”
She describes the service provided by the Vanscoys as “miraculous.”
“Even if their two sons are not playing, they go with our athletes,” Davis added.
When Davis speaks of the value of Special Olympics to the athletes, she gets emotional.
“The program gives them (athletes) a lot, really. Just to watch one of these kids get a medal is so amazing,” Davis commented.
“They feel they can overcome anything. They seem to be saying ‘Look, I’ve got this. I earned this.’”
Davis said she has been doing Special Olympics for 25 years.
“There are still times when I just can’t breathe watching them – all those emotions,” she added.
Fundraisers keep the sports program up and running and volunteers are always needed.
Saturday, April 23, there will be a shredding event at the Summit Masonic Temple, 9545 Shepard Road, Twinsburg. All proceeds from the document shredding will go to Special Olympics.
A golf outing is planned for July 8 at the Paradise Lake Country Club 1900 Randolph Road, Mogadore.
Registration is at 8 a.m. The $70 per person cost includes golf, lunch, dinner, beverages and door prizes. There will be a 50-50 cash raffle and a gift basket raffle. Donations of gift baskets will be greatly appreciated.
For more information on the fundraisers or on volunteering email Davis at firstname.lastname@example.org. or call her at 330-634-8400.
To talk to the Vanscoys about the sports program or volunteering, call 330-923-2864.
The Weaver Sports Booster Club is a tax deductible organization. To make a donation, makes checks payable to the Weaver Sports Booster Club in care of Ed Vanscoy, 2501 Maplewood St., Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio 44221.