Field Day Brings out Best in Exceptional Children

Article excerpt

Byline: Russell Lissau Daily Herald Staff Writer

Everybody was a winner Sunday at the Lake County Council For Exceptional Children's Field Day.

Regardless of their level of athletic skill, all of the young participants - children with physical and mental disabilities - went home with certificates and colorful ribbons.

"It's a real good way for these kids to compete against other kids," said Mary Lou Goehring, the event's chairwoman.

The annual Field Day, which was held at Grayslake Community High School, marked the beginning of Exceptional Child Week in Lake County.

The children were split into four age groups: 3 to 5 years, 6 to 9, 10 to 13 and 14 to 21.

They competed in a softball-throwing contest, a 50-yard dash, a kickball contest and a long jump.

Two children in wheelchairs also competed against each other in some events, including an obstacle course.

The event was supposed to be held outdoors, but bad weather drove it into the school's gym. And organizers said the weather also might have kept away some participants.

But the rain didn't scare off 5-year-old Evan Smith and his father, Eric, of Grayslake. Evan, who is autistic, picked up two third-place ribbons, two fifth-place ribbons and a participation ribbon for his efforts in the various competitions. …