Special Olympians celebrated at Premier


Photos by Jason Hawk | Amherst News-Times Premier Toyota owner Bob Fisher sings the praises of Special Olympians on Wednesday as he announces donations to the World Games.

Photos by Jason Hawk | Amherst News-Times Premier Toyota owner Bob Fisher sings the praises of Special Olympians on Wednesday as he announces donations to the World Games.

Photos by Jason Hawk | Amherst News-Times Premier Toyota owner Bob Fisher sings the praises of Special Olympians on Wednesday as he announces donations to the World Games.

Photos by Jason Hawk | Amherst News-Times Premier Toyota owner Bob Fisher sings the praises of Special Olympians on Wednesday as he announces donations to the World Games.

Twelve local athletes beamed Wednesday, accepting a $1,000 check on behalf of Special Olympians heading to the World Games in Los Angeles.

Bob Fisher, owner of Premier Toyota, welcomed local Murray Ridge Center competitors into his showroom on Cooper Foster Park Road in Amherst, shaking hands and admiring medals.

“You have a special place with me,” he said. “My sister competed as an athlete in the Special Olympics.”

Fisher also pledged $10 for every service job completed Wednesday at his dealership.

Seven thousand athletes and 3,000 coaches from 177 countries — not to mention an estimated 30,000 volunteers and a half-million spectators — will flock to L.A. at the end of July.

Toyota is sponsoring 24 from its Ohio, Michigan, Tennessee, and Kentucky region. The company has been involved with the Special Olympics nearly 30 years.

No Murray Ridge athletes are headed to this year’s summer games but all are excited to support the friends they have made at state competitions, said recreation manager John Syrowski.

About 800 Lorain County residents with special needs compete close to home and he’s seen basketball, softball, swimming, track and field, bocce, and other games make a huge difference their lives.

“The sportsmanship in unbelievable,” he said. “It really builds teamwork, builds character. The pride, win or lose, that it gives our athletes is amazing.”

Jason Hawk can be reached at 440-988-2801 or @EditorHawk on Twitter.

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