Don’t Miss “The Specials!”

We wanted to make sure you don’t miss the television debut of “The Specials,” on Sunday, September 7th from 1:30 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. CST on the Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN).  OWN just announced they will be airing this groundbreaking docu-series about the funny, honest story of five housemates with intellectual disabilities living the classic student lifestyle in England this Sunday.  All 13 episodes will air back-to-back on Sunday, September 7 from 1:30 – 8 p.m. CST.The_Specials

For a sneak peek now, please visit:

Filmed over four years and narrated by housemates Sam, Hilly, Lucy, Lewis and Megan, all between the ages of 19-23 and close friends since childhood, “The Specials” shares the ups and downs of their daily lives from first love to heartbreak, from leaving college to finding a job, as well as the day-to-day interactions and complications of sharing a house together. The housemates live life to the max – they enjoy everything from surfing and karaoke as well as competing in Special Olympics.

The Webby Award-winning series was originally produced as short form,10-minute webisodes in England. OWN will televise fresh, newly adapted episodes following housemates as they continue to support each other through major changes in their lives — everything from breakups, to a parents’ divorce and finally an engagement.  

The Other Side of the Gold Medal…Diana Brownlee

Name:  Diana R. Brownlee  Florida Parishes Area Director Diana Brownlee with athlete
Title (within Special Olympics): Florida Parishes Area Director
What do you do:  You name it and I do it.  There are many tasks that an area director has to do but since I am getting older the Florida Parishes management team has taken over most tasks with planning and organizing competitions.  I put entries in GMS (Games Management System), attend meetings, pass on info to coaches, etc.
Age: 61
City: Hammond, LA
Favorite Special Olympics sport and why:   Horseshoes. I Love to visit Lafayette where the state competition is.
# of years has been involved with Special Olympics:   Since 1980
Have you ever attended World or National Games?   Yes, both
If so, when and where:  1983 International Games in Baton Rouge, LA
1987 Notre Dame, Indiana
1995 New Haven, CT
1999 Raleigh, NC
2006 attended National Games in Ames, Iowa as a power lifting coach.
Anything you would like to say about it: It was a great experience
What is a Fun Fact about working with Special Olympics?  The most rewarding experience is the excitement from the athletes when the athletes see you.
Interesting story that happened at or during Special Olympics?  We have an athlete who moved here from New Jersey to live with her brother who lives in Slidell.  Her mother was very sick when they moved here.  The summer games after her mother passed away, she said a prayer to her mother before she stared her race and when she finished first she looked up to heaven and told her mother she did that for her.  She ran over and hugged me for letting her come to Special Olympics and be able to do the race for her mom.
Family: I have a brother and a long haired Chihuahua (Roonie)

The other side of the gold medal…Glenn Drude, Jr.

Name: Glenn Drude Jr.  Glenn Drude
Title: Office Assistant
What do you do:  Just about anything other staff members ask me to do, like answer the phone, take out the trash, sweep front and side, check office supplies, etc.
Age: 45
City: Ponchatoula, Louisiana (It’s a big town!)
Favorite Special Olympics sport and why: I would have to say Power lifting, because I used to compete in it and it helps you exercise and get in shape. My second would be aquatics, because it is a good outside sport and another sport that helps you exercise.
# of years has been a staff member: 24
Have you ever attended World or National Games? Yes
If so, when and where: World Games in 1999 in Raleigh, North Carolina
– Anything you would like to say about it: I went as a staff member. It was fun and hot, but kind of relaxing. I went to the different events to observe them. One thing I remember was our athletes traded American Flag lapel pins with other countries athletes.
Work: What is a Fun Fact about working here? Um…I would have to say the people. We all feel like family. It’s a fun place to work for. I would like to stay working here as long as I can.
– Interesting story that happened at or during work? The only thing that comes to mind is going to different events. Also, when I turned 40 the staff made a sign and put it out front of the office for the people passing to honk because it was my birthday. I sit in the front of the office and for a few hours did not know why people were honking!
Family: I have a good loving family. I live with my mom and dad. I have one younger brother, and one niece. I have no pets.
Interest/Hobbies: I am big, die hard LSU Fan! When I am off work from Special Olympics Louisiana, I go to the Ponchatoula Police Department and help them out. My ID Badge says that I am a Special Police Officer. During the summer I like to go swimming and spend time with friends.
Fun Facts: The only thing that comes to mind is that I am a very helpful person. I graduated high school in 1987. I am related to half the town of Ponchatoula. I am a member of the Ponchatoula Lions Club and I help out when needed. My dad and I are both Lions Club members and a few years ago we won the Meldon Jones award together, the highest award a club member can receive.
Other: My nickname is Bubba and way back when I was little someone used to call me Peanut. I started participating in Special Olympics Louisiana when I was about 10 years old and I competed in Softball Throw and Standing Long Jump. In 1993, I competed in Powerlifting and won first place. I no longer participate as an athlete because I am a staff member. My favorite color is purple. My favorite food is pizza. I love strawberry shortcake and some people say I have the best memory of anybody else.