14 / matters magazine / fall 2018 Striking Opportunity for JESPY Bowler Jane Clark chosen for Special Olympics World Games BY ELLEN DONKER F or the past five years, bowling has been a fun activity on Fridays for Jane Clark. A Bronx native and client of JESPY House for 20 plus years, Clark enjoys the camaraderie and competi- tion of bowling in a league. On September 21, she received some news that is a first not only for herself but for JESPY House where she lives: Clark will be com- peting in the 2019 Special Olympics World Games, set for March 14 through 21 in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. As the first Special Olympics World Games in the Middle East/North Africa region, Clark will be joining more than 7,000 athletes from 170 countries who will compete in 24 summer sports, along with 2,500 coaches, 20,000 volunteers and a half million spectators. For someone who has never travelled outside North America, this is a life-changing op- portunity. And for JESPY House, a nonprofit that helps adults with intellectual and developmental dis- abilities like Clark lead independent lives, sending a client to Abu Dhabi is clearly a milestone. Executive Director Audrey Winkler says, “Jane came to JESPY from the Bronx when she was 30 years old and has always lived life ‘big.’ With sup- port from JESPY counselors and resources she has flourished over the years, distinguishing herself at full-time jobs, immersing herself in activities like bowling and now, doing something that most of us could only dream of achieving.” As an individual with intellectual disabilities, Clark has had to work hard to learn how to bowl. Her coach, Wallace Tillman, explains, “In the be- ginning, Jane only threw the ball in the gutter. It took her a long time to process her thoughts on aim- Photo credit: Marco Catini