Hunterdon Couple Takes the Plunge to Spread Special Olympics Message

October 2, 2009. By Dominic Serrao/Examiner.THREE BRIDGES, N.J. – In order to help spread the message of the Special Olympics New Jersey, Angela Rotella of Flemington and fiancé Joe Panico of Three Bridges recently organized for five professional sports teams to host athletes from the not-for-profit organization, which provides sports training and athletic competition to children and adults with intellectual disabilities.

The athletes and the programs of the Special Olympics New Jersey were introduced to the crowds at the games of the New Jersey Devils, Camden Riversharks, Lakewood BlueClaws, Newark Bears and the Somerset Patriots.

At a Riversharks game held at Campbell’s Field, the Special Olympics athletes had the opportunity to spend time with many of the players during their pre-game warm up routines. Rotella excitedly said, “It was a blast for both us and the athletes.”

In an interview with the Examiner, Panico said that “their smiles were priceless.”  According to Panico, the faces of the athletes would light up each time they were being cheered on by thousands of fans at the games. “At the New Jersey Devils game, one of the kids said that he hadn’t been that happy, ever. It was truly a moving experience for both of us,” said Panico.

Rotella and Panico are amongst the top ten finalists in ‘The Roman Jewelers Wedding’, a luxury wedding giveaway to a couple that proves they can work together and make a difference in the community. As part of the contest, each finalist couple is currently executing their individual ‘Good Deed Plan’ for a randomly assigned charitable partner.

The good deed plan for the young couple culminates with them “taking the plunge”, literally. They will be running into the Crystal Lake in Oakland on November 28 to benefit the Special Olympics New Jersey.

“We are seeking support from the community in our quest to ‘take the plunge,’ figuratively and literally,” said Rotella.

For more information, visit the couple’s website, Angela and Joe’s Wedding.

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