On April 11, 2011 IMS celebrated Diversity Day with visitors from the Special Olympics. Students listened to Rob Gerowe and Ray speak, earned T-shirts and other prizes for answering questions about Special Olympics, took a pledge to stop using the “r-word,” and enjoyed a special international lunch. On Sunday, April 17, a group of IMS students will be official volunteers at the Special Olympics aquatic event at Hotchkiss. Students were unofficial helpers at the event last year.

 Rob and Ray’s bios are listed below.

Rob Gerowe is currently the Regional Director for the Special Olympics Connecticut. He recruits, trains, and leads staff, coaches, and volunteers in events across the state. For years, he has worked with non-profit organizations whose mission is to help others. He was regional manager of volunteers for World Vision, the world’s largest humanitarian relief organization, and was the campaign director for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.

Rob is an athlete himself participating in cycling, triathlons, running and track and field. We were very honored to have him speak with us and welcome him to IMS.
Ray Hadden has been part of Special Olympics Connecticut for over 25 years. He was around 8 years old when he joined Special Olympics, and it was the best thing he ever did. As an athlete he earned many medals in several sports, participating in downhill skiing, snowshoeing, bowling, track & field, and basketball, bowling and downhill skiing has always been his favorite sports. In 1993 he received The Spirit of Life Award at the State Capitol in Hartford, Connecticut. Over the past few years, Ray has been the coach for the SOCT New Milford bowling team and editor of the New Milford Special Olympics Newsletter. He has participated with his brother in the CT Special Olympics Penguin Plunge for the last 6 years, and earned the Emperor Penguin Award for the past two years in Danbury’s plunge. When he can, Ray participates with the New Milford Police department in the Torch Run in June and other Tip-A-Cop events during the year.

What Ray enjoys the most is his work as the Northwest Regional Global Messenger Assistant. As a Global Messenger Assistant, he travels to businesses, schools, and competitions to speak for the organization, and also help to organize our other area Global Messengers for different events. He has also sat on Athlete Input Congress and been part of the Leadership Training Conferences. Ray is very proud to be part of the Special Olympics Family.
When he is not competing or doing Global Messenger events, you can find him in the kitchen at the Canterbury School, where he works, or relaxing watching TV, listening to music or spending time with his family.

We were very proud to have these two distinguished speakers at IMS.