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LARC’s Joey Glowacki to participate in 2018 Special Olympics USA Games

Joey surprised with special certificate from Thornton Township

by Carrie Steinweg

Joey Glowacki
Bowler Joey Glowacki was selected as one of only 46 Illinois athletes who will travel to Seattle next July to participate in the Special Olympics USA Games. At the LARC Fish Fry on September 29 he was surprised with a certificate of recognition. Pictured from left: Barb Tomczak, Special Services/Assesor Clerk and coach of Thornton Township Bowling Busters; Joseph Glowacki, Sr.; Joey Glowacki; Thornton Township Supervisor Frank Zuccarelli; Norbert Cipowski, Thornton Township Trustee; Cassandra Holbert, Thornton Township Assessor; and Ernie Gonzalez, Executive Director of LARC.
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.

Pictured here with Chris Winston, Chief Marketing Officer for Special Olympics, Joey proudly displays his certificate of recognition from Thornton Township. Joey has been bowling weekly for the past seven years as part of the Bowling Busters team. “He really loves to bowl,” says Joey’s mom, Barb Glowacki. “He’s ‘Mr. Sociable.’”
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.

Carrie Steinweg
Carrie Steinweg
Carrie Steinweg is a freelance writer, photographer, author, and food and travel blogger who has lived in Lansing for 27 years. She most enjoys writing about food, people, history, and baseball. Her favorite Lansing Journal articles that she has written are: "Lan Oak Lanes attracts film crew," "Why Millennials are choosing Lansing," "Curtis Granderson returns home to give back," "The Cubs, the World Series, fandom, and family," and "Lansing's One Trick Pony Brewery: a craft beer oasis."