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Dianna Lynn Perkins
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Ranchers take part in friendly competition

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    The Silver Fins team cheers after winning first place at the Down Home Ranch Swim Fest & Field Day. From left to right: Vicki, Kristen, Tom, Kelly, Alaina, DHR development associate Kelly Clarke. Photos by Julianne Hodges
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    The Barracuda team cheers as a group before heading off to the next activity.
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    Sterling hits a golf ball for the long putting activity.
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    Kelly (left) catches a water balloon tossed by Robert.
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    Patrick (left) shoots a basketball from the free-throw line.
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    Rebekah rolls a bocce ball.
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    Riley throws a football at a target.
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    Georgia (right), a volunteer from Mineral Springs Baptist Church, awards Austin (left) from the Tiger Sharks with a medal for best teamwork.

On June 6, teams of ranchers at Down Home Ranch and visiting teams got a chance to compete in outdoor activities while having a day full of fun and games.

Each year, Down Home Ranch hosts this Swim Fest & Field Day, a Special Olympics-style event featuring a variety of sports tailored to meet the needs and ability of everyone participating. This year, participants competed in golf, basketball, swimming, flag football and track and field activities.

A total of seven teams competed in the Swim Fest & Field Day: four teams were made up of residents at Down Home Ranch, while the other teams came from other groups and organizations. The Barracudas were awarded Best Sportsmanship for their enthusiasm for the accomplishments of the other teams. The Tiger Sharks were awarded Best Teamwork for their support for each other. The Down Syndrome Association of Central Texas (DSACT) Dynamos were awarded Awesome Attitude for their positivity throughout the competition, and the Tidal Waves were awarded Most Helpful for giving 100 percent in spite of the hot weather. The Riptides earned third place, the team from Live Oak earned second place and the Silver Fins earned the first place title.

Down Home Ranch is a non-profit organization on a 410-acre working farm located northeast of Elgin that provides a residence, training and employment, and community for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Their mission is to empower the lives of these people through social, educational, residential and vocational opportunities. In addition to Down Home Ranch's efforts, volunteers from Mineral Springs Baptist Church in Lockhart also attended to help run the field day.