Joey surprised with special certificate from Thornton Township
by Carrie Steinweg
LANSING, Ill. (September 29, 2017) – A client of LARC, an agency in Lansing that serves adults with developmental disabilities, received some special recognition at LARC’s Annual Fish Fry on September 29. Joey Glowacki is headed to the 2018 Special Olympics USA Games in Seattle next July to participate in the bowling portion.
Glowacki has been bowling at Lan-Oak Lanes for the past seven years with the Thornton Township Bowling Busters. Beverly Tomczak, Special Services/Assessor Clerk for Thornton Township, and Mona Orellena, coach the group of about 65 special needs bowlers ranging from age 21–74. The group bowls weekly throughout the year. “Joey is a very good sport. He’s always ready to help out the next guy and always roots on the other members. It’s not all about skill, but very much about sportsmanship,” said Tomczak.
Being selected to advance to the USA games is quite unusual and only a small number of athletes in the state have this opportunity. “This is the first time that we’re aware of that an athlete in one of our programs has done this,” said Thornton Township Supervisor Frank Zuccarelli, who surprised Glowacki with the announcement and presented him with a certificate.
Glowacki will travel with Special Olympics Illinois, who provides flights, meals, lodging, and uniforms at no charge. Glowacki will join athletes competing in the sports of basketball, unified bocce, artistic gymnastics, powerlifting, swimming, and unified tennis.
“Of over 23,000 athletes in the state of Illinois, just 46 of them are going to the USA Games,” said Chris Winston, Chief Marketing Officer for Special Olympics Illinois. “It’s a great honor for any athlete because their journey to get there has been paved with gold medals.”
Joey Glowacki’s mother, Barb Glowacki, noted that he made it to the state level last year. “He really loves to bowl,” she said. “He’s ‘Mr. Sociable’ and makes friends everywhere he goes.”
Besides bowling, Joey enjoys video games, computers, cooking, and working in LARC’s workshop where he reports for his job each weekday to do box assembly.
Winston said that the 2018 USA games will happen just a couple weeks before Special Olympics celebrates its 50th anniversary. That celebration will happen in Chicago where the Special Olympics began.