Awarded for ded­i­ca­tion

Gan­der’s Joe Philpott se­lected as New­found­land and Labrador Spe­cial Olympics Vol­un­teer of the Year

Advertiser (Grand Falls) - - Regional - BY ADAM RANDELL Adam.randell@gan­der­bea­con.ca

GAN­DER, N.L. – To have the sup­port of his pro­vin­cial peers hum­bles Joe Philpott.

The Gan­der res­i­dent was re­cently se­lected to re­ceive this year’s New­found­land and Labrador Spe­cial Olympics Vol­un­teer of the Year award.

Af­ter nom­i­na­tions were put for­ward for the award – to be pre­sented at the pro­vin­cial Spe­cial Olympics AGM and awards night in St. John’s Oct. 12 – the province’s 16 Spe­cial Olympics clubs, which se­lect the win­ner, chose Philpott.

“There are so many vol­un­teers out there, putting in the hours with Spe­cial Olympics,” he said. “It’s not some­thing you do for the recog­ni­tion, there are so many de­serv­ing peo­ple out there, and for my com­rades to se­lect me, I can’t help but feel hon­oured.”

Philpott has been in­volved with Spe­cial Olympics for the past 13 years.

His in­volve­ment with the or­ga­ni­za­tion has been felt re­gion­ally and provin­cially.

Vol­un­teer­ing with the Gan­der Wings club, he is a past chair, and more re­cently fin­ished up a four year stint as the chair of the re­gional lead­er­ship com­mit­tee. He has also served as a coach and con­trib­utes other var­i­ous roles within the or­ga­ni­za­tion.

His pres­ence has been felt na­tion­ally as well. Along with be­ing in­volved with five na­tional games, Philpott was the driv­ing force be­hind a knit­ted scarf cam­paign for the 2016 na­tional win­ter Spe­cial Olympics in Cor­ner Brook as wel­com­ing gifts for ath­letes and par­ents. The cam­paign was a roar­ing suc­cess, bring­ing in 3,400 scarves from across the province, Canada and the United States.

But it’s his de­sire to vol­un­teer, and to help out his son and oth­ers with an in­tel­lec­tual dis­abil­ity, that dives his pas­sion for the Spe­cial Olympics. And it hasn’t gone un­no­ticed. Marg Byrd, chair of Gan­der Wings Spe­cial Olympics, said the club was more than happy to offer Philpott’s name for se­lec­tion.

“Joe is ded­i­cated and com­mit­ted to the ath­letes and vol­un­teers of Gan­der Wings. He has high moral val­ues, treats every­one he en­coun­ters with re­spect, en­cour­ages sports­man­ship, and shows no bias to­wards any­one. He in­spires the ath­letes to do their very best, but to also have fun while com­pet­ing,” Byrd said. “He can al­ways be re­lied upon to help out at sport com­pe­ti­tions, meet­ings, so­cial func­tions and wher­ever else help is needed.

“His con­tri­bu­tions to Gan­der Wings Spe­cial Olympics Club are in­valu­able and his ef­forts are, in part, why the club is suc­cess­ful.”

ADAM RANDELL/THE BEACON

Gan­der res­i­dent Joe Philpott was re­cently named New­found­land and Labrador Spe­cial Olympics Vol­un­teer of the Year Award. Philpott has been ded­i­cated to Spe­cial Olympics for the past 13 years.

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