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Walpole High School hosts the 50th annual Bocce Tournament by chloe patel and bridget o'connor

One of Walpole's Bocce Teams poses for a picture. (Photo/Bridget O'Connor)

Walpole High School hosted over 500 students from 21 high schools in Massachusetts to join together to compete in the Bocce Tournament, an event run by the Special Olympic Foundation.

Faith Watson rolls the Bocce ball for her team at the tournament. (Photo/Bridget O'Connor)

At the beginning of the tournament, the Opening Ceremony was held in the auditorium, where Walpole Student Council president Natalie Buckley spoke, as well as Special Olympic Director of Schools and Youth Engagement Patti Doherty, and Massachusetts Association of School Committees (MASC) president Taive Muenzberg. Additionally, School Resource Officer Thomas Hart and former WHS student Mike McCarthy held the torch lighting ceremony.

Sophomore Madison Field rolls the Bocce ball in the tournament. (Photo/Bridget O'Connor)

“Kids working together over an issue bigger than themselves is uplifting,” Student Council junior representative Matt Ferraro said. “It’s energetic and fun. Seeing people being here outside of school is awesome for this event.”

Katie Deblasio rolls the Bocce ball for her team. (Photo/Bridget O'Connor)

Each school that hosts the tournament will hold it for two years, so Walpole will organize the event next year as well. Student Council representatives juniors Hallie McLaughlin and Casey Poli chaired this event for Student Council and were pleased with the outcome of the tournament.

One of Walpole's Bocce Teams poses for a picture. (Photo/Bridget O'Connor)

“Everybody had a great time and things ran smoothly with the help of our amazing council,” McLaughlin said. “Positive compliments and notes of appreciation have not stopped flooding in since the event.”

Katie Deblasio poses for a picture. (Photo/Bridget O'Connor)

The official motto of Special Olympics is “Choose to Include,” and Doherty hopes to increase the inclusivity of Special Olympics events they do through their relationship with MASC they formed over eight years ago. Recently, they have collaborated on the Polar Plunge, an event that kicks off the MASC conference in Hyannis.

Members of Student Council pose for a picture with Mike McCarthy. (Photo/Bridget O'Connor)

“Our main focus is to see how we can grow and unify so that everyone feels inclusive and feel like they belong,” Doherty said. “We are excited to continue to grow and get more people involved and have fun.”

Evelyn Abbott and Gabby Moore pose for a picture. (Photo/Bridget O'Connor)
Walpole's Bocce Team cheers for Gabby Moore after she rolls the Bocce ball. (Photo/Bridget O'Connor)
Walpole's Bocce Team poses for a picture. (Photo/Bridget O'Connor)
Members of Walpole's Student Council cheer on the other competitors. (Photo/Bridget O'Connor)
One of Walpole's Bocce Teams poses for a picture. (Photo/Bridget O'Connor)

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