G-A students volunteer at the Special Olympics

John Irwin For Echo Pilot
Greencastle-Antrim baseball players Connor Ambeault, a junior, left, and and Hunter Forney, a senior, timed the wheelchair races during the Special Olympics at Franklin Learning Center. JOHN IRWIN/ECHO PILOT

Greencastle-Antrim High School students were among the volunteers as Franklin Learning Center students showcased their skills at the Special Olympics last week.

Senior Hunter Forney and junior Connor Ambeault, members of the Blue Devil baseball team, were helping with the wheelchair races.

“It was fun seeing all of them compete and enjoy themselves,” said Forney. “It’s humbling to think that we can come out and make them feel like everybody else and make them feel special in every way possible.”

“Its been great cheering them on, we're having a blast,” Ambeault added.

Student volunteers from the allied health program at Franklin County Career and Technology Center and nursing students from Harrisburg Area Community College also were on hand to make the day memorable for the student athletes.

“We are proud of what all of our kids can do,” said Jackie Drooger, supervisor for the Franklin Learning Center. “We want to make this a positive, successful day for them.”

Faculty, staff, volunteers and the 170 students gathered around the bus terminal for opening remarks and the National Anthem Wednesday morning.

During the opening ceremony, senior students were honored along with two FLC students who passed away during the school year — the Colby Jarvis and Gabe Sollenberger.

Gabe, who passed away in December 2017, loved school, according to his mother Cheryl Sollenberger.

“He also loved swimming, camping and going to concerts. He loved rock and country music," she said.

His father, Dwight Sollenberger, recalled a common occurrence at concerts with his son.

 “People would come up to him and give him high-fives and tell him how cool he was," he said. "They would even make space for him up front. He loved music.” 

“I just wish he was here and was to able graduate,” his mother said.

As the games began, students age 5 to age 21 were eager to participate in a variety of events that included a 50-meter walk and run, a softball throwing station, standing long jump and wheelchair races.