Five Newbury College student-athletes volunteered and supported Special Olympics athletes from surrounding Eastern Massachusetts cities and towns at the eight annual Bio-Ball Tournament* at Buckingham, Browne & Nichols School in Cambridge, Mass., Saturday afternoon April 28th.
Along with Women's Basketball Head Coach Katie Greene, seniors Jessica Graus (Rochester, N.Y.), Benjamin Weiner (Barrington, R.I.), Rachel Wyszynski (Wilbraham, Mass.) and sophomores Olivia Iafrate (Waltham, Mass.) and Carolina Franco (Redding, Conn.) became the Milton-Quincy Mustangs' fan club for the afternoon. It was an extremely positive experience and the student-athletes were captivated by the day's events that they had to see them through to the end, according to Weiner.
"It was so obvious how important sport is in all of their lives," Graus stated. "I am extremely thankful I was able to be a part of their athletic experience for the day."
Newbury's involvement in the Bio-Ball Tournament was the second Special Olympics event in as many weeks for the Nighthawks. Two weeks ago, at the baseball and softball Senior Day on Saturday April 21st, the Nighthawks invited two Special Olympics athletes from around the area to throw out the ceremonial first pitch.
Before softball's double-header against the Wheelock College Wildcats, 25-year Boston College employee Kevin Slattery threw out the first pitch. Slattery played volleyball and soccer with the Special Olympics at Boston College for two years in addition to working in the Chestnut Hill campus' Stuart Dining Hall.
That Saturday was a big day for the Newbury baseball team, who ended up sweeping the double-header against the Hawks with two decisive, 10-2 and 9-1 victories. However before junior right-hander Chris Ninteau (Lisbon, Conn.)toed the rubber, Brookline native Joel David Taubman threw out the first pitch to senior backstop Patrick Curry (Hampstead, N.H.).
Taubman is a member of the Newton Special Olympics as well as participates in track, swimming, basketball, volleyball and bowling with the Newton Recreation Department. A 15-year employee of Boston College, Taubman loves singing and listening to music.
*The annual Bio-Ball Tournament is a partnership between the Massachusetts Biotechnology Industry and the Special Olympics of Massachusetts to help promote the promise of a better tomorrow and a healthier future.