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St. Bernard Parish Hosts Annual Special Olympics Event at Chalmette High

Chalmette, LA - Blue skies, big smiles, and great sportsmanship were all part of a true community celebration when the St. Bernard Parish School Board hosted its annual Special Olympic Games at Chalmette High School’s Bobby Nuss Stadium.


Beautiful weather and the spirit of unity served as the backdrop for the Games with over 100 athletes with special needs participating. The festivities began with the Opening Ceremonies,  a parade led by the  student athletes from across the district. This procession was led by torch bearer, Carter Beckwith. Then, the National Anthem was played, and School Board President Diana Dysart addressed the crowd for a brief welcome, ending with a stirring  “Let the Games Begin.”


The games included javelin and ball throw, 50 and 100 yard dash, and long jump. Throughout the day there were smiles, applause, and cheers. When scores were tallied, winning athletes stepped up to the podium to receive their medals. Joe Cipollone, a Special Education Supervisor,  said the program has been recognized as a Program of Distinction by the state of Louisiana, and he credits the spirit of cooperation for the success of the Games. “From the ‘buddies’ who coach and escort our Olympians to the coaches and community partners who cheer them on, today is about coming together in celebration of our students.”

His colleague and fellow supervisor Alison Gros was also quick to credit the people behind the scenes that make such a big event possible. “The Special Olympics is a result of the countless hours of hard work by school administrators, volunteers, and other community and service organizations,” she said. “We are grateful to them all.”


Both were also quick to credit their colleagues, Robin Vieregge and Vicki Nuccio for being so instrumental and helpful in ensuring success. ”They contributed a lot of time and effort and really made this event a special one for everyone,” Gros said. 


Cipollone also gave big thanks to all of the parish officials, volunteers, community partners, and helpers. “Special kudos also go out to our Maintenance Department crews for working tirelessly behind the scenes to set up and ensure that everything ran smoothly.”  He also expressed gratitude for this year’s sponsors which included: 


Valero Meraux Refinery


Stolthaven Terminals 

Clements Physical Therapy 


Methodist Health Systems Foundation

Wightman Dental


St. Bernard Port, Harbor and Terminal District 

Today’s Ketch Seafood 

Campo’s Seafood 

C.J. Dettwiller Truck Service 

Suburban Title Agency 

Assessor Jaylynn Turner 

Friends of Special Olympics 

Aj’s Produce 

EMR Southern Recycling 

Meraux Foundation 

Chalmette Refining 

Clerk of Court Randy Nunez 

Diana Dysart

Daniel Dysart

Adele Faust Attorney at Law

League of Angels

Picou Group

Kiwanis of St. Bernard 

St. Bernard School Board

St. Bernard Parish Government

St. Bernard Fire Dept.

St. Bernard Sheriff’s Dept.

Chalmette High School

Principal Wayne Warner

Chalmette High School Buddies 

Richard Neyland

Emile Jude Pellitteri

Alvin Jones

The Honorable Kim C. Jones

Troy Taylor

Hunter Taylor

St. Bernard Sports Hall of Fame

Nunez Baseball Team

Parish Playdates

Autism Krewe

Rain Carbon

Shoemaker Chiropractor


Qualifying athletes will compete in the state Special Olympics in Hammond later this spring. Congratulations to our athletes, coaches, staff, volunteers, and all who made the games possible.