- Associated Press - Sunday, March 2, 2014

BERLIN, Conn. (AP) - Months before the 2014 Special Olympics Connecticut Winter Games began this weekend, Bud Meyers, a retired transportation supervisor at Connecticut Light and Power, left his home outside Hardy, Neb., for the 1,500-mile drive to Simsbury to make snow and do other jobs.

He’s made the trip every year since 1993.

Meyers, who worked at CL&P from 1960 to 1993, says he volunteers to help the developmentally disabled athletes.

“I do it for the athletes,” he said. “We’re not paying enough attention to the athletes,” he said. “They’re intellectually challenged people. They didn’t ask for this.”

The Special Olympics on Saturday and Sunday have drawn more than 250 athletes. They are joined by hundreds of volunteers, coaches and spectators.

The cross-country skiing and snowshoeing athletes rely on Meyers and volunteers who are connected to CL&P and parent company Northeast Utilities, to make snow in the absence of natural snow.

He gets some financial help, he said, but he would not give details.

Meyers said his involvement dates to the early 1960s when he saw the conditions of the old Mansfield Training School. It was closed in 1993 and patients were sent to more updated facilities and institutions or were cared for at home.

Meyers, 75, arrived in Connecticut on Dec. 28 and says he will head home on Tuesday. He makes the 24-to26-hour drive in one shot without stopping overnight.

“I’m just careful and I keep plugging away,” he said.

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