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Sepich provides smiles during PA. State Special Olympic Games

By Kenny Varner


UNIVERSITY PARK – State Special Olympics Summer Games to many people is only about watching numerous special Olympians from all over the state of Pennsylvania competing in each of their respective sport.

However, the state games itself is much more than that.

Behind the scenes, there are numerous volunteers giving their time and efforts to provide the athletes all the best care and special rewards for making the three-day sporting event.

Volunteers man everything from the games and activities at the numerous booths in the Olympic Village to helping out during the sporting events down to the helping out at Penn State’s own cafeteria, keeping things running smoothly and quick.

One such activity that all the athletes flock to during their downtime is the eye examination tent where members of Sepich Eye Doctors, provide numerous athletes with free eye checks as well as free glasses and sun glasses throughout the event.

Many of the athletes cannot afford the type of examinations that Sepich provides out of the goodness of their hearts as well as the volunteer time most of helpers provide during the time period.

Working with the local Lions’ club, the group goes from station to station checking their vision with simple eye tests, mobile equipment and even a station that helps them pick out the style of glasses the athlete is best suited for.

The group works in a simple primative tent with divisions between the stations. Not only does the group provide regular glasses but they also provide sports glasses to the athlete so there is little chance of the player breaking their own glasses.

Providing smiles aplenty, the volunteers quickly erase the worried faces of new athletes who are entering the eye tent for the first time. By the time the new player is done, they also show the Olympic smile that is very contagious at the state event.

Though the lens have to be ordered, the Sepich team has most of the glass orders back to the athlete before the end of the summer.

Most of which are just in time for athlete who also compete in the fall sports as well.

Team Sepich not only provide the gift of sight but also the true gift of giving back to the community and also smiles, year in and year out.

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