Meet the top fundraiser from the past few years of the Peabody Holiday Torch Run.
Jeremy ''Jay" Carlo has been actively involved in the Special Olympics for three and a half decades. He began in Worcester at age 10, competing in Track and Field events like the softball throw and running events but it was when, as a student at the Mercy Center, he joined the Special Olympics basketball team and his love of the Special Olympics blossomed. Being a part of a team, practicing and competing together, is where Jay's spirit shines brightest. He loves cheering teammates on and watching his skills and those of the team improve.
Jay played Unified Softball for many years on the Seven Hill Panthers when he lived in Central Massachusetts. His dad Ken played on the team and his brother Lee and cousin Michael were both partner athletes. This team won the gold medal for three consecutive years, but more important than that to Jay, were the friendships and experiences he shared with his teammates, coaches, and other teams. Jay especially enjoyed meeting the umpires at the games and was always sure to thank them for their work. Each August at the annual tournament, he looked for familiar faces and greeted his friends with a big smile beneath his trademark mustache.
Jay began his swimming career while in Central MA also, swimming for the Seven Hills teams. The June tournaments with the overnight stays in the Boston University dorms were always much anticipated events.
He loves talking about, participating in, and supporting the Special Olympics. He participated in the annual Torch Run in 2018 and 2019 raising more than $3000 for the organization. He has a lofty goal this year; he is pledging to run 250 miles before 2020 ends and to raise at least $2500 for CASO.
In 2017 Jay and his family moved from Central MA to Gloucester. They had spent summers campin g in Gloucester for many years, and Jay was already well-known on the beaches as a ''volunteer lifeguard". He was thrilled to learn about the Cape Ann Sharks, the Cape Ann Special Olympics (CASO) swim team, and couldn't wait to get back in the water. He was warmly welcomed to CASO by Nicole Tucker, Moe Colby, and then to the Sharks by his coaches; Allie, Richie, and Jan and his new teammates. The rest, as they say . . . is history.
Jay dove right into the CASO with his fellow Sharks. He is grateful for the very skilled coaching and the high expectations set by the team management. He knows he has become a much better swimmer under their tutelage. He is even learning the butterfly!
When not practicing, competing, or fundraising, Jay enjoys helping at church, taking his grandmother for walks, arguing about sports with Joe the mail carrier, watching games with his dad, and spending time with his family; most especially the three family members who call him Uncle Jay; Miles, Margalit, and Ellery.
Jay will be participating in the Run, Bike Walk With Us series over the next few months. Follow along his journey and join him at