Female Athlete of the Month
Stephanie Weems is a 27-year-old Special Olympics Colorado athlete from Greeley and has been a part of SOCO for 12 years! She competes in bocce, gymnastics, and basketball, with gymnastics being her favorite sport.
What Stephanie likes most about SOCO, besides competing, is being able to socialize! She loves meeting people, hanging out with her teammates, and the camaraderie that sports provide! Stephanie also enjoys horseback riding and hanging out with her mom, Shelia.
Male Athlete of the Month
Devery has been a part of Special Olympics Colorado for four years. His favorite sports are soccer and football, although he loves that he gets to play different sports through SOCO. He enjoys playing with other athletes and meeting new challenges! His hobbies include playing outside, spending time with his family, camping, fishing, and just being outside.
“Special Olympics Colorado has allowed us to meet new friends with all sorts of abilities and gave Devery the opportunity to be exposed to sports in a safe and fun way. It also teaches our daughter Amina how to be involved in supporting people who have different abilities. We as a family see so many people who care about our children and want them to be successful no matter their ability level,” said Devery’s mom, Mary. Way to go, Devery!
Molly has been a coach with Special Olympics Colorado for almost 11 years! Over that time, she has coached soccer for Broomfield and the Unified Rapids, as well as bocce ball for Broomfield.
“Special Olympics has made a huge difference in my life! About four years ago, I decided I wanted to pursue a different avenue in my career. While I had been a special education teacher, I knew I wanted to work with individuals who have intellectual disabilities because that is when I feel the happiest and most fulfilled! I love watching the athletes improve from the beginning of the season to the end, as well as over the course of years. I have developed deep and meaningful relationships with the athletes, partners and their families! It is so powerful to watch how athletes participate in sports alongside their peers who are neuro-typical. Raising my children watching Special Olympics and now volunteering themselves is of utmost importance to me because of the lessons learned, the relationships built along the way and the true definition of inclusion. I am a better person because of the impact Special Olympics has made in my life! I continue to be blessed by so many athletes,” said Molly.
Thank you for being such an outstanding coach, Molly!
Volunteer of the Month
Dave started coaching his son’s Cherry Creek junior basketball team about 20 years ago while his daughter also volunteered as a partner on the basketball team. From there, he has also become a coach for a Special Olympics Colorado golf team too!
“Coaching Special Olympics has probably been the most rewarding thing I have ever done. No matter how my day has been when I see the athletes they immediately make me smile. I feel a special connection with each one of them. One thing that is really special is I have been able to move up from juniors to adults and finally the senior division so I have coached some of the athletes for 20 years. It warms my heart to see them grow, develop and enjoy success. I love them all,” said Dave.
This past year Dave’s team participated in the kick-off of the FIT 5 Program to promote a healthier lifestyle for our athletes which includes exercise and a nutritious diet. Thank you for all that you do for SOCO, Dave!
Community Partner of the Month
Congratulations to Douglas County for being recognized as Special Olympics Colorado’s Community Partner of the Month!
Douglas County has supported Special Olympics Colorado, in many ways, for decades!
With over $75,000 in financial support through the Developmental Disabilities Milly Levy grant, SOCO has been able to implement Unified Champion Schools in 24 schools and provide sports programming to more than 1,100 residents with disabilities. In addition, the Douglas County Sheriff’s Department is actively involved in the Law Enforcement Torch Run, promoting awareness of the Special Olympics Movement and raising over $157,000 to support programs in 2018.
It is through this generous support and dedication of Douglas County that SOCO is able to serve so many athletes in the region! Thank you, Douglas County!