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Canterbury Pledges to End the "R" Word

Meredith Berry-Toon

To kick-start the campaign, Ray Hadden, a 12-year Canterbury dining hall employee and 32-year member of Connecticut Special Olympics, spoke to students about his personal experience with being the target of the "R" word.

Said Ray, "When I was younger and someone would call me a retard, it would make me feel frustrated, dumb, and alone. I was lucky though, I had strong family support and a few good friends that were there for me." He went on to urge students to "please join me and take the pledge and have a positive effect on someone who may be feeling inadequate, frustrated and alone.

Ray competes as a Special Olympian in snowshoeing and bocce. He is also a Special Olympics Global Messenger, coach of the New Milford bowling and basketball teams, co-chair of the Athlete Input Council, and a member of its board of directors.

Photo, l-r: Terry Rice (Ray's mom), Ray, Keiko Mathewson, Director of Community Service