EATON — “Let me win, but if I cannot win, let me be brave in the attempt!”
The more than 100 athletes from Preble County who participate in Special Olympics and live up to this motto were recognized on December 21 for their efforts. The ceremony was held at The Grange in Eaton.
“These athletes, our volunteers, coaches and sponsors are the reason why Special Olympics Preble County is a very successful program,” said Corey Mangan, coordinator for Special Olympics in Preble County and community first coordinator for the Preble County Board of Developmental Disabilities. “They work very hard, including the Special Olympics and the Special Olympics Young Athletes committees who bring everything together, for these athletes.”
In addition to the athletes being recognized, five additional awards were given to participants who made an outstanding contribution to the program in 2015. They are:
The 2015 Outstanding Special Olympic athlete is Alex Day. The three-sport athlete, Alex participates in basketball, softball and track and field. His athletic accomplishments exemplify skill, courage, sharing and joy.
The 2015 Outstanding Family Award winner went to Mitch, Twila and Shannon Hunter of Lewisburg. The Hunters are great contributors and super fans of all Special Olympics athletes and are wonderful supporters of the program. Additionally, they make a unique and lasting contribution to the lives of these athletes.
There were two recipients for the 2015 Outstanding Volunteer Award. One went to Katie Anspaugh who juggles work at The Eaton Place, attends Sinclair Community College and volunteers for Special Olympics Young Athletes (SOYA) and Special Olympics.
Preble County Commissioner Chris Day also received the 2015 Outstanding Volunteer Award. Day is instrumental in helping make the track and field event run smoothly each year at Twin Valley South and his playing for the Generals truly is appreciated.
Both Katie and Chris were recognized for their enthusiasm and service that helps improve the quality of Special Olympic programs in Preble County.
The Register-Herald took home the 2015 Outstanding Media Representative award. According to Mangan, the writers and photographers do a great job of telling the Special Olympics story to its readers. Their photographs show the Special Olympics spirit, whether it’s an athlete crossing the finish line or sinking a three-point basket.
The one message from the volunteers and coaches that continually came up during the event was “it is truly an honor and privilege to be a part of Special Olympics.”
Special Olympics Preble County also thanks the following supporters for their valuable contributions: Preble County Commissioners Day, Rodney Creech and Denise Robertson; the Preble County YMCA and Eaton First Church of God; Eaton Community Schools; National Trail; Preble Shawnee; Tri County North; Twin Valley South; Carol Lunsford, West Alexandria Mayor; coaches Tim Lane and Chuck Hart; Triangle Therapy, LLC and Stacey Creech for leading SOYA; Bob and Darlene Combs for their outstanding support and Tony Barry for officiating and umpiring games.
The following companies and organizations supported Special Olympics Preble County in 2015: American Legion Post 322, West Alexandria; American Legion Post 360, New Paris; The Andersons; Bullen Ultrasonic; Community Concepts; Dayton Children’s; Dow; Eaton Rotary Club; First Impression Wear; Knights of Columbus; Kroger; LCNB; L&M Products, Inc.; Larkin-Cobb Chevrolet; Loudy Office Machines; Marsh Supermarket; Michael Murphy Insurance; New Paris Kiwanis Club; Omicron Sigma Sorority; Parker Hannifin Foundation; Pizza Hut; Preble County Developmental Training Center; Quaker Trace Tractor, Inc.; Roselius Insurance; Bill & Jane Sweet; Margie Benge / Triangle Therapy Services; T’s Freeze; Timken Steel; Twin Valley Bank; Valley Carpet Center; Vintage Wheels Auto Club; Jill Vosler, D.O.; Wallace Heating & Air and Your Happy Place.
If interested in volunteering for Special Olympics Preble County and/or Special Olympics Young Athletes, contact Mangan at (937) 456-5891 ext. 124 or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.