Before we can get things going at the Lawrence, Massachusetts Sons of Italy Lodge #902, we have to vacuum the rugs on the three 60' by 9' courts.
When the players arrive we have a little coffee and pastry and get psyched for the event. We had six teams from the Exchange Club and six from local bocce leagues. Twelve talented teams faced off in a double elimination event.
Pictured center is Daniel Santana, a Lawrence, Mass. resident who will represent the USA in the Special Olympics World Games in Greece in the summer of 2011. This event is in his honor and will help defray his travel expenses for the event.
The all important bracket board - set up by tourney director Jim Tsouprakakis who did yeoman's work to pull the event off without a hitch. Workers at the SOI lodge (including the Buonanno family) prepared a fabulous meal for the participants.
Let the games begin!
The courts were recently refurbished - replacing stone dust with carpet and sacrificing a little space to make room for 3 courts instead of 2.
The new set-up allows for seating space at each end of the courts.
The gallery jostles for the best viewing positions.
Teams consisted of men and women as well as some school age children.
The young fellow on the center court had a "smooth as silk" delivery.
The Grand Champions pose in front of the banner bearing the Special Olympic Oath. It was win-win-win for everyone. The SOI Lodge put on a great event, everyone had a great time competing and supporting a good cause, and a very nice young man will have some of his travel expenses covered. We wish Daniel Santana Buona Fortuna when he competes in Greece in 2011!