Adam Bourque’s smile could have lit up a room Tuesday as Brett Gallant, of the AHL Cleveland Monsters, signed his jersey.
It was one of many small, but powerful, moments Tuesday during the 29th annual Special Olympics P.E.I. Luncheon at Credit Union Place.
This year the luncheon raised $16,430 for P.E.I. Special Olympians. The event is the organization’s largest in this part of the province.
Adam is a former Special Olympian who had to retire for health reasons in 2011. But seeing and supporting his friends who are still part of the organization are important to him.
“It means a lot to him because he knows everybody here, all the people at Special Olympics, all the athletes, he loves to see all the celebrity guests – so he loves to be here,” said Susan Bourque, Adam’s mother. Adam’s condition does not allow him to communicate verbally.
This year’s luncheon included special celebrity guests like NHL Defenseman Dion Phaneuf, actor Elisha Cuthbert, Olympic Gold Medalist Tessa Virtue, champion oyster shucker Eamon Clark, male and female Special Olympians of the year, Roy Paynter and Jennifer Hickox, and more.
Sarah Profitt-Whener, membership services coordinator for Special Olympics P.E.I., said the event was a big success.
“We’re so fortunate to have such great community supporters,” said Profitt-Whener.
“At the luncheon especially we have a great athlete presence and it’s wonderful to see our athletes coming out and the community interacting (with them), embracing our athletes and including them.”