Heartwarming Surprise at Richmond County’s Special Olympics

Photo of Westside High School student and Special Olympics competitor E.J. Vergara (left) and Westside student/volunteer Summer Ruffin.
Photo of Westside High School student and Special Olympics competitor E.J. Vergara (left) and Westside student/volunteer Summer Ruffin.

Augusta, GA (WJBF) – The annual Richmond County Special Olympics featured competitions between approximately 150 athletes from 25 local schools at Westside High School Friday afternoon.

Although it was competition, most of the athletes weren’t focused on winning — they were just having a great time.

“Gosh, the smile that you see on their face,” Kristy Olive, who’s helped organize the event for the past 15 years, said. “It doesn’t matter if they finish first or they finish last, they just love to be out here to compete and they all see that they’re all winners.”

One athlete, in particular, won in more ways that one. Westside High School student E.J. Vergara was asked to prom by Special Olympics volunteer and Westside student Summer Ruffin.

“I’m just very excited that I was able to do this for him,” Ruffin said. “Just to be out here and see all of this is really great. Like all the people that come out and support the cause and do this for these kids, cause they’re people too, and they deserve just as much as we do.”

Congratulations to Ruffin and all the other Special Olympics competitors and volunteers!

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