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Flagler County’s “Ulympic Games,” Set for April, Are Crying for Participants

| March 11, 2013

No flames yet for Flagler's First Ulympic Games. (Noel Reynolds)

No flames yet for Flagler’s First Ulympic Games. (Noel Reynolds)

To register for Flagler County’s First Ulympic Games April 6-13, click here. Any employee from any local government agency may participate. The registration deadline is Friday, March 15. 

Months ago Barbara Revels, the Flagler County Commissioner who seems to jog to the rhythm of new ideas, thought up this one: why not hold a week’s worth of games modeled after the Olympics, and involving all local government employees as participants and competitors—from county government, all the cities, the constitutional offices, the school board and any other employees who work for any form government in Flagler.

“A lot of us don’t know each other necessarily across city lines or county lines or school lines,” Revels said, speaking to the school board in a recent presentation about the local Olympics. “We try to promote good health within all of our governmental agencies. We fund health care and those types of things, and we have all these wonderful trails and parks and school system playgrounds. And I thought it would really be great if we could sponsor something like they have in a lot of big communities, like corporate games, where if we did something where it was just government employees playing government employees.”

Revels teamed up with Alicia Casas of the United Way, the non-profit philanthropic organization, and the idea took off: there’d be 10 events—Archery, bowling, cornhole, cycling, golf, horeseshoes, running, softball, tennis and volleyball. Participants would be encouraged to enter individually and in teams. They had—they have—until the end of this week (Friday, March 15) to register for any of the events, for modest fees that range from $5 per person per event to (in softball’s case) $100 per team. (You can register here.)

It’s called the Ulympic Games. And they’re on. The events will be held between Saturday, April 6 and the following weekend, culminating in a picnic for all—participants, families, friends. The principal goals are to highlight fitness, breakdown walls between local governments, and also raise money for Flagler County schools’ summer camps: that’s the chosen goal of the money the United Way will be collecting.

The only restriction is that you must be a local government employee to participate. No family members, no “ringers,” as Revels calls them. But the school board, with some 1,800 employees, is the largest employer in the county. Palm Coast and county governments are among the largest employers. When all potential participants are counted, the number could exceed 3,000.

Could, but as of last week, only around 30 people had registered to participate, raising questions about the viability of the games come April 6.

One problem: none of the local governments, including county government, advertised the games prominently, either on their websites or through their social media pages. The plan had been to have each government’s human resources department inform employees, since it was an employee-only competition. But that appears not to have generated much of a response.

“Any time you start a new thing, this is what happens,” Revels said, not losing hope. She is still thinking that most people are procrastinating, and leaving registrations to the last minute. Yet when she presented the idea to the school board last week, board members appeared enthusiastic enough to want to participate themselves—which is just the point, Revels says: she wants to see elected representatives playing alongside—and competing with—employees, up to the day of the picnic, when there may be a dunking booth for some of them.

Andy Dance, the school board chairman, said he’d registered to take part in the archery competition (and summoned archery specialists from Belle Terre Elementary to train him: Belle Terre has a seasoned team, and is in fact hosting the archery competition, having the necessary wares to do so). School Board member Colleen Conklin, doubting anyone would entrust her with a bow and arrow (“not standing behind me,” Dance said), wants to be on a softball team.

Each local government was asked to sponsor at least a game, and to be a location host. Like the actual Olympics, the games are spread out across many venues. Some events piggy-back others: the cycling competition is in conjunction with the Flagler Beach Rotary Club’s annual cycling run, which begins at the Chamber of Commerce on State Road 100 the morning of April 7. Palm Coast is hosting the golf competition at the Palm Harbor Golf Course on April 6. Flagler County is hosting the horseshoes competition at its new horseshoe park on Old Dixie Highway. And so on. (See the list of venues here.)

Revels was approaching local restaurants to provide bagged lunches for the picnic, too, at a reasonable price, but because of the low turnout so far, she’s held back, unsure about the actual number of people who might end up at the picnic to start with. The final weekend actually coincides with the annual Rock ‘n Ribfest in Palm Coast’s Town Center, but I think they’re two different audiences,” Revels says.

“Lots of fun, lots of competition, hope to see you all doing something, whatever your favorite thing is to do, because I think it’ll be really helpful if all of our employees across the county see elected official participating as well or at least appreciating what they’re doing,” she told the school board. “If it’s fun enough and it isn’t that much trouble for everybody, in the future, we don’t know how it might expand to families, we don’t know how it might expand to some sort of corporate cup across the county and really get into some fun competition where we all meet each other on the ballfield and have fun.”

For now, however, the goal is to get the word out to participants that the games are on, and that they need participants.

To register for Flagler County’s First Ulympic Games April 6-13, click here. Any employee from any local government agency may participate. The registration deadline is Friday, March 15. 

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16 Responses for “Flagler County’s “Ulympic Games,” Set for April, Are Crying for Participants”

  1. Deep South says:

    Great ideal. I worked for ITT, and we use to have annual events against other corporations in the Tri Counties. One of the events that I participated in was the 15k. We got to run around the track at Daytona International Speedway.

  2. Edman says:

    This sounds like a good idea, getting employees to relate to each other and better understand each other’s roles, but…. These things always work better if they come from the employees and not as top down ideas. Work on employee buy in and ownership of this and it could go well.

  3. Rain says:

    The County employees that I know never even mentioned it, they have however mentioned that it has been years since they received any type of raise. If this idea is to raise moral, you missed the mark. On top of that you are asking them to pay, good luck Barbara!

  4. palmcoastpioneers says:

    Is anyone planning for an International Bath Tub Boat Races? It would be great to see the Teenagers having FUN like we had all last Century – some crowds for these Events drew 10,000 people. Maybe now that we have two High Schools the football teams can challenge each other – maybe Cheerleaders vs the Guys ? Maybe something by the Palm Coast Yacht Club ?

    If anyone is interested we are Stewards of the details of the construction of Palm Coasts’ ‘Bath Tub Boats’.


    Dear Palm Coaster:
    If a history book were published about Palm Coast and its people, an exciting and fulfilling chapter would be written about the year 1978.
    Firm roots were planted by ITT Community Development Corporation ( ICDC) as the headquarters building opened, fulfilling a commitment to consolidate offices from New York, Miami and Palm Coast. The facility and personnel presence in Palm Coast highlight the part that ICDC continued taking direct involvement in Palm Coast in developing a planned and controlled community where families can live, work and play.
    Now in the final stages is another key development. The Palm Coast Shopping Center with Publix and Eckerds will offer one stop shopping facilities in fashionable and attractive surroundings.
    We are happy that golf sensation Nancy Lopez has chosen Palm Coast as here official place of residence, and is the touring pro for Palm Coast Golf Club. As we approach the 3,000 population mark in this water-oriented community, we have become the “home-Port” for Nancy’s Navy.
    Arnie’s Army likewise had an enthusiastic showing here as Arnold Palmer played our golf course after signing a contract to design Palm Coast’s second golf course which will be completed by December 32, 1980.
    A further expansion was made in our tennis activities with the opening of six lighted cushionized tennis courts.
    The Palm Coast Community YMCA has soared with interest and participation. Memberships and individual donations have assisted the programs and activities conducted for youngsters and adults living throughout the county.
    Houses of worship likewise have made significant and lasting strides in the community. Services are being held in the St. Mark by the Sea Lutheran Church and the First Baptist Church of Palm Coast. Clergy and parishioners of Mother Seton Catholic Church broke ground in September for a church on the newly opened Belle Terre Parkway. The new church will be completed in April or early May.
    In providing support services to the growing community, expansions are being made on the wastewater treatment plant which will be completed in February and the water treatment plant to be completed this spring.
    Palm Coast Utility Corporation has relocated from a model home near the Welcome Center into new offices off of Old King’s Road. New rates, fees and charges were placed in effect on January 1, 1979. These adjustments represent the first overall revision of rates by the Utility since 1971. Due to inflation and increased construction costs, the contribution-in-aid -construction for water has been established in the amount of $640. or $810 depending on Section. The water tap, meter installation and connection fees will range between $255. and $320. For new homesite purchasers who do not connect to the system, there will be an assessed availability fee of $4.00 per month for both water and sewer service.
    In the area of residential lot improvement, all improvements including central sewer facilities scheduled to be completed by the end of the year, were completed on time.
    A second fire truck was loaned by ICDC to the Palm Coast Fire District and the volunteer Fire Department.
    Our own Palm Coast Construction Company has entered the residential market and is adding final touches to prototype models.
    The Sheraton Palm Coast Resort Inn received awards of excellence at the Sheraton World Conference held in Boston in September.
    Headlining the Spring Festival was Archie Campbell, of television’s Hee Haw fame. —————–>This six-day celebration was highlighted with an International Bathtub Boat Race, the Italian American Festa, a four-mile foot race, band concerts, fireworks, tennis and golf tournaments.<————–
    The year was not all fun and games. Research and hours of hard work were poured into a four-year effort as the Comprehensive Land Use Plan (CLUP) was completed. Working directly with state planning agencies and receiving valuable input from outside consultants, the ICDD planning staff has readied a plan which provides a working framework describing the locations of future residential units, parts, roads, recreational areas, industrial property and commercial stores.
    This year as Palm Coast continues to grow and develop, we at ICDD look forward to the many new and exciting events which will take place. Personally, I am very enthused about the future and hope our residents and future residents share this enthusiasm about our community. Sincerely, Alan Smolen
    Alan Smolen President AS/agk

    The above from: ITT Community Development Corporation, Executive Offices, Palm Coast, Florida 32051 Telephone (904)445-2628.

  5. palmcoastpioneers says:

    10,000 Visitors:

    From the Year:


    Dear Palm Coaster:
    For Palm Coast, 1981 was a very busy year; a year of important and wide ranging achievements, and a year of positive progress. Here’s a briefs look at the highlights:
    The 3.6 million Palm Coast Parkway/I-95 interchange – funded more than 95 percent by ITT Community Development Corporation (ICDC) was christened in May by Florida Lt. Governor Wayne Mixson, who called the project a “partnership between private industry and government.” ICDC planners predict the interchange will create many opportunities for commercial and industrial growth in the community.
    With this in mind, ICDC opened Palm Coast Industrial Park west of U.S. 1 in November. The Park with 32 acres in its first phase – offers smaller businesses a lower cost alternative to the Pine Lakes Commerce/Industrial Park. Due to begin production early in 1982 in the new park is Olde St. Augustine Ovens, Inc. manufacturers of all-natural cookies and other healthporiented baking products. Another company to begin operations in 1982 is Cardiac Control Systems, Inc., a cardiac pacemaker firm. Cardiac Control initially will employ 70 persons in its 25,000 square foot facility in the Pine Lakes park, and could employ up to 1,000 people within 5 or 6 years, according to its management at this time. Negotiations for facilities in the parks are continuing with several other companies.
    Tenants in The Atrium, the first professional office building in Palm Coast, began doing business in their new offices in January. Next door, the Realty World Complex, which includes a branch office of Century Federal Savings and Loan, opened for business in November, Barnett Bank’s branch office near the shopping center is scheduled for completion in January; Florida Federal Savings and Loan’s branch nearby is scheduled for completion in March and Security First Federal Savings and Loan in the Palm Harbor Shopping Center completed expansion of its facility in November.
    Palm Cable, Inc., continued its expansion program in 1981, with service now available to more than 1,7000 Palm Coast homes. Also, the Entertainment and Sports Network (ESPN) was added to the basic subscriber package, joining pay channels HBO and Cinemas, Atlanta’s superstation Channel 17 and eight other channels.
    Palm Coast’s water and wastewater treatment plants are undergoing expansion and are expected to be completed next summer, the water treatment plant won its second consecutive state award for operational excellence. The Florida Public Service Commission – which regulates Palm Coast Utility Corporation (PCUC)- authorized PCUC in December to increase the sewer fee to $1,342 for all sections of Palm Coast. The increase will be in effect in 1982. A Palm Coast substation of the Flagler County Sheriff’s Department opened in October, manned by full-time deputies and Palm Coast volunteers. The Belle Terre Middle School, being built on 30 acres of land donated by ICDC is progressing toward a Fall, 1982 opening.

    Coquina Lanes, a new 20-lane bowling center, opened in August. A little further north on Old Kings Road is the spacious clubhouse of the Italian-American Club, completed last spring. The former Palm Coast Yacht Club reopened in March as The Harbour Restaurant with beautifully renovated interior and new menu selections. The Pine Lakes Country Club restaurant began serving gourmet dinners and lunches to members in the fall. Also the Palm Harbor Tennis Club has been enlarged and improved with the addition of a lounge and restroom/locker building, and the 19th Hole at the Palm Harbor Golf Club was enlarged and renovated as well.
    ————->Special events staged this year were huge successes. The International Festival in October drew more than 10,000 visitors to Palm Coast. The Italian Festa in May, Mother Seton Catholic Church’s Oktoberfest, the Palm Coast Civic Association’s July 4th celebration and Entertainment ’81 concert series, plus special events staged by the YMCA and other organizations made this year’s social calendar a busy and entertaining one.<——————
    Religious organizations continued to thrive. St. Mark by the Sea Lutheran Church celebrated the fifth Anniversary of its sanctuary by burning the mortgage papers on July 5. Trinity United Presbyterian Church dedicated its beautiful new sanctuary in late April, and members of the Palm Coast United Methodist Church broke ground for their new sanctuary in November.
    Meanwhile, ICDC continued its diversification of housing product lines, with the opening of Pine Lakes Village, a new country club community of luxury single family and condominium homes west of I-95. The 1.8 million Pine Lakes Country Club clubhouse, local point of Pine Lakes Village, was christened in August by Arnold Palmer, co-designer of the 7,066 – yard Pine Lakes course.
    The Woodlands Model Home Center featuring six new single family homes designs, opened in early summer almost simultaneously with the first 20 units of the Woodhaven Condominium on Old Kings Road. Two other new Palm Coast Construction Company model homes – the Sandpebble and Westwind – opened in January on canal lots directly across from the Welcome Center.
    In other residential news, land development of residential lots – i.e., roads, central sewer and water lines – was completed ahead of schedule in all sections of Palm Coast that had an Improvement Completion Date of December 31, 1981. Similarly, we expect all other previously committed residential land development in Palm Coast to be completed ahead of schedule.
    In sports, Roscoe Tanner and Brian Gottfried battled Palm Coast resident touring pro Tom Gullikson in tennis exhibition matches this year, and Palm Harbor and Pine Lakes golf courses hosted the North Florida PGA's sectional championship and Tournament of Champions. Our LPGA touring pro, Nancy Lopex-Melton, after tuning up her game in Palm Coast last winter, had a fine year on the tour and will continue to represent Palm Coast on the LPGA circuit.
    So you see, it has been an active, exciting year in Palm Coast. I look forward to more of the same. Sincerely, Alan Smolen, President.

    The above from: ITT Community Development Corporation, Exective Offices, Palm Coast, Florida 32051 Telephone (904)445-2628

  6. palmcoastpioneers says:

    Maybe the City can see if the High School Bands will play ‘Palm Coasts Festival Park March’ sometime during this Event so newer Palm Coasters and Flagler County residents can hear it.

    “Palm Coast Festival Park March.”

    Several Christmas numbers and a sing-along entertained the audience, Sharon Crow, alumni affairs director representing the DBCC Foundation and Alumni Association, and vice president Dr. Len O’Hara presented two full art scholachips to the DBCC campus. Contact Larry Goodemote at 445.4030.
    Guest Conductor – Professor Charles T. Gabriele conducts his own composition.
    Flagler Palm Coast News, Wednesday, December 23, 1987.

    Navy Band Orlando Thrills Capacity Crowd at Center

    By Jim Miskelly
    PALM COAST – It was a first for Palm Coast. In and ideal setting for a Sunday afternoon band concert, an overflow crowd estimated at nearly 1,000 packed the Daytona Beach Community College Flagler Center’s new outdoor theater for the performing arts for a performance by the Navy Band Orland, under the direction of Lt. William D. Myers.
    Palm Coast Professor Charles T. Gabriele conducted the band in playing his own composition ” Naval Training Center March,” and the premier performance of ————–>his “Palm Coasts Festival Park March.” commemorating the opening of the Cultural Arts Pavilion. ——–> Gabriele, former composer in residence of the Naval Academy Band, earned a standing ovation from the audience and the band alike. Gabrielle dedicated the march to ICDC President Alan Smolen,<——————– who in turn shared the honor with ICDC Executives Gary Walters and Vince Viscomi for their part in planning the center.
    The program opened with the 'Star Spangled Banner," setting the pace for a patriotic afternoon. Center Director Larry Goodemote welcomed the audience and County Commission Merle Shoemaker read a Flagler County Commission resolution proclaiming May 20, 1981 as "American Legion Flagler Post 115 Day."
    The American Legion Post, chartered in 19919 is the oldest veterans ' organization in Flagler County and was a sponsor of the concert with the cooperation of DBCC's Flagler Center and ICDC Shoemaker noted this was the first event at which all local veterans' organizations were represented and welcomed . American Legion Flagler Post 115. Palm Coast VFW Post 8696 , Flagler County FW Post 5213. DAV Chapter MOWW. Shoemaker presented a copy of the resolutions to the American Legion Post Adjutant Cora Buckles.
    Rear Adm. Pauline M. Hartington, USN, congratulated Professor Gabriele for his years of service in the Navy and cited him for his compositions.
    The concert concluded with 'Servicemen on Parade," a medley of familiar service songs with an invitation for former veterans to stand when their service connected song was played.

    Wednesday May 23, 1984 – Flagler Palm Coast News Tribune

  7. County employee says:

    Very nice. This was proposed “months ago” and the first time I hear about it is 4 days before the deadline by an online news source. And I get County emails everyday.

  8. palmcoastpioneers says:

    Ideas / suggestions – maybe between the scheduled Events there could be FUN events – Flagler Beach has Bed Races, Palm Coast could have their Bath Tub Boat Races, Bunnell can have Riding Lawnmower races, the County can have motorized Wheelbarrow races, Beverly Beach can have rolling Surfboard races, rolling Recliner Chair races, etc. and each be part of a BIG PARADE showing the entries –
    Thoughts? Ideas ?

  9. My two cents says:

    What joke! Did you really expect this to work the way it’s laid out. Revels should just stick to County business and stop politicking

  10. Reality Check says:

    So who is paying for all this? The cost must go somewhere; I would like to hear an answer from our leaders. If the county is paying I say throw every one of them out of office, since all we hear about is that there is no money for schools or programs. Come on Barbara; speak up, how to you intend to pay for this?

  11. Alan says:

    Can’t they all just sing “kumbayah” and “We are the World”. How much time and money is this going to cost the Flagler County residents ? Oh you know its going to cost for something,,,,It always does !!!

  12. County Employee says:

    No raise in 6 years, actually make $3000 less than we did 3 years ago. $12 to bowl with people I spend most of my waking hours with – on my off time. I’d rather spend my free time and money with family and friends.

  13. Milt says:

    Give me a break! Almost as bad as Manfre’s electioneering Calender. When will these people do the job they were elected to do?

  14. h&h says:

    I think it’s a good idea but the participants will expect to be paid. After all they’re union and don’t do anything without getting paid for it.. The mindset of all government employees in this county is I’m in it only for the money..

  15. confidential says:

    Bad timing on a bad economy Ms. Revels.!
    Even bike week is not what it used to be anymore…because the conservative agenda managed to bankrupt the middle class nowadays. I drove to Daytona today and I never seeing so few bikers in bike week before and to top it over I saw lately that the two Waffle House restaurants in Rte 1 and I-95 North of Palm Coast and I-40 and I 95 South of us, shut down. A sad sign that those middle class customers breakfast and lunches have dried due to jobless rates and all those many workers laboring those restaurants and greeting us smiling and loud in every visit, had joined many of us in the unemployment lines. Man …they are doing a great job at destroying the very folk fabric of America. The sad part is that we are not doing near enough to stop their advance of that destructive agenda.

  16. It's not all about you says:

    I am not interested in the political maneuvers. This is just like Feed Flagler was/is. Tired of Revels and others asking what you can do for them instead of what they can do for you.

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