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Cheers for Host Town Arcadia

While the Opening Ceremonies of the Special Olympics World Games in Los Angeles marked the beginning of competition for thousands of athletes from hundreds of countries, it marked the end of 16 months of preparations and three long days of activities for 17 volunteer members of the Host Town Arcadia Organizing Committee.

<Story continues below the following 4 1/2-minute video highlights of the three-night stay of the World Games delegates in Arcadia in late July, 2015…>

The group was initiated and headed by Bruce McCallum since April 2014. Just one month later in May 2014, the program was one of the first of dozens to be formally announced at a press conference at Arcadia City Hall with then-Mayor John Wuo. Already, the committee had received and announced commitments from three local hotels to house about 100 athletes and mentors from the Caribbean island country of Trinidad & Tobago as well as the eastern European country of the Krygyz Republic. Embassy Suites Arcadia, Hilton Garden Inn, and the Santa Anita Inn each agreed to provide rooms at greatly discounted prices, as well as 300 free breakfasts and free WiFi, saving the committee nearly $20,000 in expenses.

That was only the beginning of the work that lay ahead for the following committee members:

  1. Bruce McCallum – chairman; recruited and coordinated the activities of this committee.

  2. Bob Harbicht – planned all activities and coordinated master schedule.

  3. Linda Garcia – coordinated activities with the City Manager.

  4. Jim Rider – handled financial affairs.

  5. Larry Stewart – organized all of the lunches and dinners.

  6. Glenn Oyoung – led fund-raising activities.

  7. Denise Weaver – enlisted and coordinated all volunteer activities

  8. Jim Pontello – coordinated activities with the hotels

  9. Sandra Caldero – took thousands of photos and put them on DVD’s so the athletes would have a pictorial record of their visit.

  10. Scott Hettrick – booked the hotels at special rates with free breakfasts, coordinated initial press conference and subsequent publicity

  11. David Munoz and Brent Forsee – liaisons with the School District.

  12. Capt. Paul Foley and Sgt. Brian Ortiz – handled all security issues

  13. John Wilson – responsible for social media

  14. Keith Kerney and Ryan Press – created dynamic and emotional reception for the athletes and oversaw their workouts at Arcadia High School

  15. Ryan Wright – directed the buses as they moved athletes around city.

Bruce McCallum describes the members as “an all-star committee which provided our athletes a wonderful time in Arcadia.” He singles out Denise Weaver as the “MVP” for her “simply outstanding” coordination of several hundred community volunteers and gifts and presentations from Girl Scouts and others. These hundreds of volunteers took care of the athletes’ every need and made them feel like the wonderful guests they were.

Arcadia City Council Member Sho Tay played the above video at Tuesday’s City Council meeting and Mayor Pro Tem Roger Chandler, who stopped in during Saturday’s ceremony, and the rest of the Council and the audience applauded Scott for his efforts and the award (at about 1-hour, 49-minutes into the City Council TV program here).

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