Cloukey honored as fundraiser sets record for Aroostook Special Olympics
PRESQUE ISLE, Maine — A record number of golf enthusiasts participated in the 30th annual Cloukey Charity Challenge, which helped to raise a record $5,921 for Aroostook Special Olympics.
The four-person golf scramble, held this year on July 14 and 15 at Limestone and Long Lake country clubs, has become a signature event in Aroostook County. Its reputation for supporting Special Olympic athletes in the area has created a fun-loving atmosphere for golfers.
Cloukey was honored Monday, July 23, at the Opportunity Training Center, when members of the Aroostook County Special Olympics Area Management Team presented him a commemorative Maine State Police Special Olympics license plate.
“Rene’s efforts and those of sponsors and volunteers have established a unique atmosphere surrounding the competitive sport of golf,” said Carl Michaud, member of the Area Management Team and an event participant. “Regardless of age or level of play, we all come together for one of the most enjoyable events in the area.”
Steve Richard, a long-time member of the organizing committee, said Cloukey’s “compassion and support for Special Olympics have been unparalleled and instrumental in the success we see today with each event in our region.”
Cloukey said his decision to create this event 30 years ago was sparked by his passion for athletics.
“Seeing athletes with the tools that they need to be competitive is very rewarding,” Cloukey said. “I’m fortunate to have many years of support from volunteers, sponsors and event participants and our purpose is to support our area athletes by raising money to purchase equipment, athletic clothing, and transportation to state level events.”
State agencies, municipalities and school districts provide valuable resources and strong volunteer involvement. Local businesses donate gifts and prizes while WAGM/Gray Digital Television is instrumental in marketing and coordination efforts.
“Our area athletes certainly exemplify the Special Olympic slogan, ‘Let me win, but if I cannot win, let me be brave in the attempt,’” Cloukey added.
Certified Special Olympics activities offered in the region include track and field, aquatics, basketball and soccer.