The Fernandina Beach Rotary Club recently welcomed Nassau County Special Olympics Executive Director Tom Christenson and medalist Emma Venerdi as guest speakers. Venerdi, a junior at Fernandina Beach High and a Special Olympics athlete for nearly 10 years, spoke about how the program has grown rapidly in Nassau County. She said the organization that serves those with intellectual challenges is offering more sports such as basketball, bowling and surfing as much-needed volunteer coaches are recruited. Christenson added that while Special Olympics is a year-round program – free and open to all special-needs children in Nassau County – the local organization’s biggest event is the Summer Games to be held at Yulee High School on March 8. He said that more than 140 young athletes will vie for medals in numerous track and field events. Another highlight of the local program will be the Torch Run held on April 1 when athletes will have a chance to carry the Special Olympics torch that will be part of the State Summer Games held at the ESPN Wide World of Sports facility at Disney World in May.