Giving Back: Garyville teenager, SJSO turn out for Special Olympics
Published 3:13 pm Wednesday, May 9, 2018
RESERVE — Logan Boynton, 16, of Garyville has a dream to some day coach the New Orleans Saints.
Since the age of 8, he’s completed numerous athletic pursuits through the Special Olympics, competing primarily in races. Logan represented East St. John and the Special Olympics Saturday at the LHSAA state track meet in the 100-meter heat after being scouted during practice.
At the Special Olympics summer games, opening May 18 at Southeastern Louisiana University in Hammond, Logan will again race, this time in the 400-meter, 200-meter and 4×100-meter relay.
His mother, Summer Stevenson, said athletics have brightened her son’s life by instilling goals and aspirations.
“It’s been great for him, having these opportunities to participate in sports,” Stevenson said. “It raises his self-esteem and helps him communicate better. It allows him to be more positive.”
The impact was evident in Logan’s decision to raise money for the Special Olympics in honor of his February birthday. At the Polar Plunge fundraiser, held at Cabella’s in Gonzales, Logan collected $200.
He’s taken advantage of other athletic opportunities, including volunteering at Wrestlemania in New Orleans through the Special Olympics and serving as the football athletic trainer and hydration manager at East St. John High.
Casey Minton, director of communications and marketing for Special Olympics Louisiana, said more than 100 qualifying events are held year-round throughout Louisiana.
Competitions in Baton Rouge, Hammond and Lafayette draw in sizable crowds in March, May and October, respectively. Minton said this month’s events feature track and field, boxing and volleyball.
“The athletes love it,” Minton said.
“They look forward to it all year as an outlet to get out of the house, see their friends and have fun competing.”
Special Olympics also offers no-cost health and wellness services, including dental, vision and hearing screenings, according to Minton.
For more information on how to get involved as an athlete, coach or volunteer, visit laso.org or call 800-345-6644.
Participation is open to those 8 and older, and children ages 2 to 7 can join the young athletes program.
In honor of Special Olympics’ 50th anniversary, officials are asking for $50 donations.
Minton said law enforcement, including the St. John the Baptist Parish Sheriff’s Office, aid the effort by raising money at torch runs around the state.
Approximately 40 St. John Parish officers and residents participated in a Torch Run on Friday, making stops to visit Twin Oaks Nursing Home, East St. John High School, Riverside Academy and St. Peter Catholic Church.