Seeing the cheerful smiles on the faces of 60 Rolla Elementary School students who participated in the first annual Rolla Young Athletes Mini-Olympics was all part of a very rewarding and inspirational event hosted by area law enforcement members, Rolla Public Schools and Special Olympics Missouri at the Wyman Elementary School gymnasium on April 11.

The fun-filled three-hour event was made possible through the efforts of Sgt. Vince Giacolone, VIPS Director for the Rolla Police Department, and Sr. Patrol Officer Tony Lauth, who partnered with Kadi Haslag, Special Olympics Coach and Life Skills Teacher at Rolla High School; and Susan Shaffer, Training Coordinator, Special Olympics Missouri, Jefferson City. The team worked with Wyman Elementary School Principal Dr. Susan Bowles, who was excited about the Mini-Olympics concept, and instrumental in providing the Wyman Elementary School gym as a venue.

In addition to several members of the Rolla Police Department and V.I.P.S. (Volunteer in Police Service) program who volunteered to supervise the Mini-Olympic games, members of the Missouri State Highway Patrol and Missouri S&T Police Department also volunteered their time to teach, referee, cheer, coach and applaud the early childhood and young students who attend Wyman Elementary School.

"The Rolla Young Athletes Mini-Olympics was an absolute success," said Kadi Haslag, who enthusiastically presented Certificates of Achievement to many of the students who attended the event. "We can only imagine what positive relationships or seeds of inspiration that have been planted in these kids from this amazing event."