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October 25, 2002 - Image 42

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 2002-10-25

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Enthusiasm Wins

Athletes, volunteers move indoors for another
fun Fame Games.

Special to the Jewish News


Clockwise from top..
Michigan Jewish Sports Foundation President Dr. Stuart Kirschenbaum
holds a plaque presented by JCC Vice President Terry Nosan.

The parade of athletes.

Lauren Ettinger of Farmington Hills is proud of daughter Valerie's accomplishments.

Mark Goodman of West Bloomfield displays his ribbons.




Robert Allender of Farmington Hills won a medal at the Fame Games.

or the second straight year,
nasty weather — a cold and
windy day with a threat- of
rain — turned the Fame
Games into an indoor event. But the
weather couldn't diminish the enthusi-
asm of the participants, and the games
achieved another success.
Unlike last year, when a downpour
chased everyone inside, the ceremonies
and all of the
games were inside
from the start Oct.
13 at the Jewish
Community Center
in West
The 16th annual
games showcased
the athletic abilities
of children and
adults with special
needs,- and their
excitement was evi-
dent from the
Olympics-style pro-
cession of athletes
into the main
lobby and the
lighting of the
Olympic Torch, to
the closing ceremonies and medal pre-
"It's another great year, despite the
weather, and nothing ever has dimin-
ished the enthusiasm and success of
the day," said Joyce Weckstein of
Southfield, who has been volunteer
chairperson the entire 16 years.
"Until last year, we had great weather
for the games every year because they
were held earlier in the fall ... but it's
no problem because we just put our
indoor plan into effect."
As in the past, volunteers outnum-
bered the athletes — about 250 to
200, with adults comprising most of
the latter. Among them were Rose and
Sy Berman of Bloomfield Hills, volun-
teering for the fifth time.
"We don't feel we're giving up a
Sunday ... we feel we're helping the
youngsters and the community," said
Sy Berman.
Helen and Sam Greenblatt of Walled
Lake were in their second year of vol-


unteering. He said, "It's very gratifying
for us to take part ... we love the chil-
The morning track events in the
gym were walking, running and relay
races and special races for those using
walkers and wheelchairs. Field events
included basketball hot shot, tennis
ball throw, soccer goal kick, Nerf foot-
ball throw, in-line hockey shoot-out
and running an obstacle course.
In the afternoon, there were adult
free-style swimming races and non-
swimmer water events. Ribbons were
given to the three competitors in each
event. Later, everyone received a repli-
ca of an Olympic gold medal. "Every
athlete really is a winner," said Lindsey
Alpert, marketing coordinator of the
Fame Games.
Speakers at the opening festivities
included master of ceremonies Murray
Feldman of WJBK-TV Fox 2; Terry
Nosan, vice president of the Jewish
Community Center; State Rep. Marc
Shulman, R-39th District; Joey Spano,
director of West Bloomfield School
District Community Education; and
Gates Brown, former Detroit Tiger,
now doing community relations work
for the team.
Another speaker was Stuart
Kirschenbaum, president of the
Michigan Jewish Sports Foundation,
which launched the Fame Games in
1986 as a Special Olympics competi-
tion and still is one of the sponsors.
Rabbi Norman Roman of Temple
Kol Ami delivered the invocation, call-
ing the games and the athletes "an
inspiration for all of us." Debra
Anstandig, 17, of West Bloomfield
sang the U.S. and Israel national
Other sponsors were the Jewish
Community Center, Northwest Child
Rescue Women, West Bloomfield Parks
and Recreation, West Bloomfield
School District Community Education
and the Observer er Eccentric
"The games are a lot of fun ... I'm
glad I can participate," said volunteer
Erik Behrmann, 16, of Farmington
Hills, as he handed a ribbon to adult
walking race winner Leonard Brown of
"I won another ribbon ... this is
great," Brown exclaimed. ❑

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