May 25, 2016
Run For Roselle
A Jamestown legend was honored at the 46th annual Special Olympics Track and Field Meet on Tuesday.
The annual games were renamed in honor of Jim Roselle, beloved radio personality, due to his unwavering support of the program through his broadcasts and behind-the-scenes work.
Bob Goold, Special Olympics volunteer and event coordinator, said the presentation made by Russ Diethrick regarding Roselle’s life and work was very moving.
Goold said the name of the event from now on will be, “The Jim Roselle Memorial Track Meet.”
The loss of Roselle in March hit the area where it hurts, and the southern Chautauqua County Special Olympics volunteers and participants are feeling the loss as well.
“Jim would always be here with WJTN and do interviews with athletes, parents and everyone,” Goold said. “Jim also put in time behind the scenes, which not a lot of people know about.”
He said Roselle was instrumental in starting the annual fundraising golf tournament, and was always able to give of himself for the cause.
“He was always there to lend a hand and was an important behind the scenes person,” Goold said.
The day began with the Law Enforcement Torch Run which kicked-off a fun-filled day. Goold said representatives of Jamestown Police Department, Town of Ellicott Police and the Chautauqua County Sheriff’s Office were involved in the run which begins at City Hall and ends at Strider Field, where the games are held.
Events span from running events to field events, Goold said. He added that approximately 420 athletes participated in the games, which is a new record.
“It was pretty eventful. It was the biggest one we have had since we went to the north and south county (events),” Goold said, adding there were 100 volunteers from high schools across the area who helped run the events. “They run the games and they do a great job.”
He said Joe Trusso, Jamestown Public Schools District employee, was also a great help with technology needs and the Elks Club once again provided a hot dog lunch for the volunteers and athletes.
Goold said it was the 42nd year lunch had been provided by the Elks club.
He said today, the north county will host their event at the State University of New York at Fredonia with approximately 300 athletes participating.
Goold said it will be much the same as the Jamestown event.
He said his favorite part of the day is seeing the high school volunteers interacting with the athletes.
“It really is quite a sight,” Goold said, adding he began his long-running involvement in the Special Olympics as such a volunteer in the 1970s. “I think some of the high school kids will walk away with a better understanding of what some of their classmates might be going through.”
He said it also helps take away the stigma that can sometimes develop.
The Special Olympics Track and Field Meet began in the 1970s at College Stadium which is now the Russ Diethrick Jr. Park. The event moved from site to site, finally settling in at Strider Field near Jefferson Middle School.