Special Olympic athletes, parents, coaches and volunteers were honored at the 11th annual Snow Flake Ball hosted by the Eureka Hotel and Casino in the Grand Canyon room.

Also in attendance were representatives from businesses, community organizations and city official, Nick Montoya, who supports the local program year round.

Twenty six active athletes received a trophy, gift bag, a gift card (donated by former program director Ralph Morocco) and recognition for participating and winning medals in basketball, bocce ball and bowling completion throughout 2016. Three new athletes who will join our program in 2017 were also recognized.

After dinner, which was donated by the Eureka for over 100 people in attendance, the new program director, Debbie Dorn, started the presentation side of the night by thanking the Mesquite Recreation Center, Mesquite Senior Center, the Virgin River Bowling Center, and the Sun City Recreation Center where the athletes practiced on their bocce ball courts for three regional tournaments in Las Vegas.

Also recognized and thanked were the Silver Rider bus system and their drivers for transportation to tournaments, City Shoppes for trophies, Overton Power and Armando, who drives the truck during the Veterans Day parade, Pizza Hut for two pizza parties a year, and especially to the Knights of Columbus and Don Sands, for donating their time and monetary funds to the activities and other needs during the year.

After the thank-you’s, coaches Paul Levan and Mike Dorn reviewed the 2016 year highlights from 2016 and introduced the Snow Flake Ball that will kick off 2017.

Besides the Knights of Columbus receiving a plaque for all their participation, the Volunteer of the Year Dorothy Olsen and the Athlete of the Year, Robert Howard were recognized.

Jered Naccarto received a trophy for his high bowling game of 207 for the men and Kelly Sitouris received a trophy for her high game of 142 for the ladies.