Hanceville Middle School participants show off their championship rings sponsored by Lesile Nabors of Buffalo Wild Wings and Dee Black of USSSA Baseball. (Cody Kanaday for Cullman Daily).

A Hanceville Middle School, Special Education teacher decided it was time to start hosting the special Olympics again after the countywide special Olympics were halted due to COVID.

Desiree Bartlett, a special education teacher, had one of her former students, which is now a Senior at Hanceville High School, come up to her and ask if he was going to be able to compete in the Special Olympics his senior year. Mrs. Bartlett couldn’t tell the young man no, so she started planning it out for all of the Hanceville students to be able to compete in their own special Olympic Games. 

She was excited to be able to make this possible, saying, “With the help of a few sponsors and volunteers, we made it happen! It was a special day for all of the participants! The smiles made it worth every minute and warmed my heart so much!”

Students from Hanceville Middle School competed first, and then elementary students came out after lunch, and the high school came out before school got out for the day. But making it more special, they got to compete in front of their peers cheering them on. 

This day wouldn’t have been possible without the help of the sponsors. Tyson donated $1,000 and Buffalo Wild Wings with the assistance of Dee Black (USSSA Tournament Director and Leslie Nabors (BWW Marketing Director).