Sun. May 28th, 2023

GUILFORD — As the mouthwatering aromas of cotton candy and popcorn filled the air, some 150 celebrators mingled at the Unified Sports finish of year carnival at Guilford Higher College final week.

Smiles and laughter have been in abundance as the crowd gathered on the back lawn of GHS and produced chalk drawings and played Giant Inflatable Bowling, Can Knock Down, Connect 4, soccer and cornhole.

The objective of the occasion, sponsored by Guilford Higher College Unified Sports, was “to make it accessible and inclusive for any person and absolutely everyone,” mentioned Jaye Carlson, GHS coach for Unified Sports. 

The CIAC/Particular Olympics Unified Sports Plan “gave us the chance by providing us a incredibly generous donation so we could have a yearend occasion,” she mentioned.

“Unified Sports is a registered plan of Particular Olympics that combines athletes with and devoid of intellectual disability (or other developmental delays) on sports teams for education and competitors,” according to

Attendees came from Durham, Guilford, Madison, North Haven and Westbrook.

“There’s a lot of games, there’s fantastic carnival meals,” mentioned GHS senior Carly Hay.

“I feel it is fantastic to show that you do not have to have some significant, crazy factor to have entertaining,” she mentioned, wearing a purple jeweled crown. 

“This carnival is all student run,” the GHS senior mentioned. “We all place the games collectively, we picked out what we wanted, and I feel it is just fantastic to show that you can bring distinct communities in, in a entertaining and inviting way.”

Her enthusiasm was shared by her peer, Gavin Lana.

“I’m obtaining so considerably entertaining,” mentioned Lana, a coach at Guilford’s Abraham Baldwin Middle College and Adams Middle College. 

“Unified Sports is my favourite factor I’ve ever carried out at the higher college,” the 17-year-old mentioned, taking a break from enjoying his fried dough sprinkled with powdered sugar.

“I’ve met so a lot of new persons and I just enjoy functioning with the athletes,” he mentioned.

Jacob Kokoruda enjoyed corndogs, pretzels, cotton candy and drinks.

The 21-year-old Madison resident was with his mother, Sharon Kokoruda. She talked about how significant the occasion was for her son and his peers.

“I feel 1 of the hardest issues about graduating from your college is when you are dwelling you do not have that peer socialization,” she mentioned.

“There are not a lot of applications that get your little ones out and a lot of our little ones do not have the social potential to make plans and to invite persons more than,” she mentioned.

“So, when you have these organized events, it delivers them with that,” Kokoruda mentioned.

“Even if they’re not socializing so considerably when they’re right here, they know that they’re with their peers and they definitely, definitely appreciate it,” she mentioned. “As a parent you are so grateful for the time that persons place in and the little ones that participate for the reason that it implies so considerably to them.”

Posing for images have been the newly-crowned Miss CT USA 2023 Karla Aponte Roque and Miss Teen CT USA 2023 Jade Ferdinand, each wearing silver crowns and handmade Carnival Ringmaster 2023 badges.

“The little ones have been sweet sufficient to make us the ringmasters of today’s carnival occasion,” mentioned Aponte Roque, as she and Ferdinand took a break from posing for photographs.

“As fantastic ringmasters we’re going about having them excited and consuming a lot of meals to make certain that we can inform them which ones are the very best,” the Branford resident mentioned.

“I ate the fried dough,” she mentioned. “That was quantity 1 on my list. But Jade more than right here got lost in the corndogs.”

“Oh, yeah, corndogs and the fried dough,” mentioned Ferdinand. “I’m eyeing the popcorn and the cotton candy. That is so subsequent.”

“On, yeah, the popcorn’s subsequent,” chimed in Aponte Roque.

Asked if they have been obtaining entertaining, Aponte Roque hesitated and mentioned, “I want I could say I’m obtaining entertaining.”

“But I’m obtaining a blast,” she mentioned, enthusiastically. “These little ones are amazing.”

“They are not only displaying us what it implies to be actually unified in the sense of just enjoying ourselves, but they’re so sort and significant hearted that they not only produced us these ringmaster pins, but they’re taking us about, displaying us what’s right here,” she mentioned. “We had a complete escort to having our fried dough, so they have been so sort to us.”

Make contact with Sarah Web page Kyrcz at


By Editor