Solvang Officially Welcomed Special Olympics Denmark Delegation on July 22, 2015
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On Wednesday evening, July 22, 2015, members of the volunteer Host Town Solvang committee, dignitaries and the public welcomed Special Olympics World Games Denmark delegation (65 athletes and 35 coaches/assistants) to Solvang with a free community picnic in Solvang Park.
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(All images credit Tenley Fohl Photography; available hi-res from firstname.lastname@example.org )
Denmark team members were treated to hamburgers and all the fixings prepared by Chef Bethany Markee, sponsored by Lana Clark, Attorney at Law; coordinated by Host Town Solvang Committee and volunteers from Solvang Chamber of Commerce/Third Wednesday. From 6:45-7:00 p.m. the team gathered in the park’s gazebo and were officially welcomed by Solvang Mayor Jim Richardson and Solvang City Council members; as well as Tracy Farhad, Solvang Conference & Visitors Bureau Executive Director who served as MC; Carol Paaske, Chair of Host Town Solvang Local Organizing Committee, Hannah Rogers, Special Olympics Athlete from Buellton and Local Liaison to Host Town Solvang who led the guests in the Special Olympics Athletes Oath “Let me Win. But if I Cannot Win, Let Me Be Brave in the Attempt.”
Special Guest Speaker Gary Hall, Jr., winner of 10 Olympic Games medals in swimming (five gold, three silver and two bronze) in 1996, 2000 and 2004 shared his experience in sports and wished them well in Los Angeles. Thanks to Host Town Solvang were given by Anette Svejstrup and Soren Kristensen, Heads of Delegation, Special Olympics Denmark. The ceremony began and ended with enthusiastic cheers from members of the Santa Ynez Valley Union High School Cheer Squad. Throughout the evening, everyone enjoyed (and many danced) to live music from T-Bone Ramblers, a local classic rock & roll band donating their time & talent. The Special Olympics Demark delegation are preparing and doing final training in Solvang and the Santa Ynez Valley through Friday, July 24, 2015.
Before Special Olympics World Games Los Angeles 2015 (LA2015) begin on July 25, 2015—7,000 athletes and 3,000 coaches from 177 countries are being welcomed to Southern California through the Host Town Program. Host Town Solvang has proudly welcomed the Denmark delegation (from July 21-24, 2015) to prepare and do final training before LA2015. The all-volunteer Host Town Solvang Local Organizing Committee, with 30 core members and more than 300 total volunteers, has raised all funds and in-kind donations to provide for three nights lodging, all meals, recreational and cultural activities for a total of $25,000. Major sponsors include Montecito Bank & Trust, Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians Foundation, Ken & Lloyd Mills; City of Solvang, The Copenhagen House, Visit Santa Ynez Valley, Wheels ‘n Windmills; Birkholm’s Bakery, Solvang Chamber of Commerce, Solvang Conference & Visitors Bureau, and hundreds more businesses and individuals.