CFB All Stars Shine at 24th Annual Special Olympics Track Meet

The CFB All-Stars, a team of Special Olympics athletes from Carrollton-Farmers Branch ISD, competed in the district's 24th annual track and field meet on May 8 at Standridge Stadium.

The opening ceremony featured a parade of athletes led by the Creekview HS Navy Junior Reserve Officers Training Corps (NJROTC). Special Olympics athletes led the crowd in the Pledge of Allegiance, Texas Pledge and the athlete oath. Sharvani Gandluri, a freshman All-State choir member from R.L. Turner High School, sang the national anthem. 

City officials, Superintendent Dr. Wendy Eldredge and Miss North Texas, Carolina Cave, addressed the athletes, offering words of encouragement and celebrating the importance of the event. A torch run, conducted in memory of former CFBISD All-Star athlete Ryan Mehnert, included selected students and school board members who lit the ceremonial torch.

"We had a fantastic day filled with exciting track and field events," said Leslie Halencak, Special Olympics Coordinator. "Our deepest gratitude goes to the volunteers and everyone who made this possible. Rescheduling twice due to weather made today's competition even more special for our athletes."

Prior to the meet's commencement, Renee Putter, CFBISD Director of Athletics, received a special award in recognition of her long standing support of the Special Olympics program.

"For over 30 years, Renee Putter has been a dedicated member of the CFBISD community," Halencak said. "She has been a driving force behind the success of our Special Olympics program, providing unwavering support since its inception. We are incredibly grateful for Renee's commitment to our student athletes."

In 1999, Carrollton-Farmers Branch ISD formed an “All Star” team of 16 Special Olympics athletes. The program has grown to more than 230 students and is a model for other districts to aspire. The team offers bowling in the fall and track and field in the spring. The annual track and field meet draws athletes from other districts that are unable to host such an event due to limited coaches and budget.

For information about volunteering or participating as an athlete, please visit