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Bertie to honor special Olympics founder

Flanked by Cynthia Bunch and Chateri Brown (foreground, left and right), Bertie County Board of Commissioners Chairman Norman Cherry Sr. signs a proclamation that declares Sept. 25 as Eunice Kennedy Shriver Day in Bertie County. Also shown are Bertie Commissioners, from left, Charles Smith, Wallace Perry, Rick Harrell and L.C. Hoggard III. Photo by Thadd White

WINDSOR – The Bertie County Board of Commissioners will honor a Massachusetts woman at the request of a local youth.

During their regular meeting Monday night, board members received a request from Bertie Middle School student Chateri Brown and Bertie County Special Olympics representative Cynthia Bunch. The request was to proclaim September 25 as Eunice Kennedy Shriver Day in Bertie County.

Shriver, who died last year, was the founder of Special Olympics. That came about because Shriver’s sister, Rosemary, was born with an intellectual disability.

Bunch said the proclamation would join others throughout North Carolina and the nation in honoring the founder of Special Olympics.

Brown also passed out buttons to the commissioners that proclaimed, “I am not a fan of the R-word.”

The resolution in part, recognizes Shriver’s work and also the importance of Special Olympics.

In part, it reads, “Whereas Eunice Kennedy Shriver worked to dispel the fear, shame and ignorance about intellectually disabled children, and

“Whereas Eunice Kennedy Shriver recognized that people with intellectual disabilities enjoyed sports and from sports learned the fundamental building blocks for skills for life, and

“Whereas Eunice Kennedy Shriver established the Special Olympics in 1968, and

“Whereas Eunice Kennedy Shriver was a trailblazing leader who broke down barriers to improve the lives of millions of people with intellectual disabilities, their families and communities around the world, and

“Whereas children in Bertie County with intellectual disabilities, their families and the community have benefited greatly from the work of Eunice Kennedy Shriver,

“Now therefore, the Bertie County Board of Commissioners does hereby proclaim September 25, 2010 as Eunice Kennedy Shriver Day in Bertie County.”

Commissioner Charles Smith made the motion to approve the resolution and have it signed by Commission Chairman Norman M. Cherry Sr. with Commissioner Rick Harrell offering a second. It passed by a unanimous vote.

After the proclamation was adopted, Cherry signed the document with Brown and Bunch joining the board. He then presented the signed document to Brown.

“Special Olympics is something that is very important for all of our children with intellectual disabilities,” Cherry said. “We are glad to be a part of this national effort to recognize the founder of such a worthwhile event.”