Susan started competing with Special Olympics Colorado (SOCO) when she was forty years old. Twenty-one years later, she competes in skiing, track and field, golf, cycling, bowling, and flag football. She loves to travel and has four exotic birds. Growing up, Susan says she was an outcast because of her intellectual disabilities and was bullied in school. Special Olympics made her feel included. Her favorite thing about Special Olympics is going to different places and meeting different people of all abilities. Susan says, ‘I am woman of special abilities and I will be part of Special Olympics for the rest of my life. Congratulations Susan on being named the October SOCO Female Athlete of the Month!
Brady is seven years old and participates in the SOCO Young Athletes Program. He competes in bowling, swimming, basketball and soccer. He started with Special Olympics while in preschool at the Rise School of Denver, a preschool for children with and without disabilities. Brady’s favorite part of Special Olympics is “giving high-fives!” Brady’s Mom Katie says, “Special Olympics has given Brady the ability to try a wide variety of sports. He’s been able to make new friends and work with some amazing coaches!” Congratulations Brady on being named the October SOCO Male Athlete of the Month!
Derek has been a Special Olympics Colorado coach for the past three years as part of the Telluride Adaptive Sports Program (TASP). He coaches alpine skiing, softball and bocce. Derek says, “Coaching Special Olympics has been one of the cornerstones of my experiences working at TASP. While we see many individuals with disabilities every day, from wounded warriors to school children with developmental disabilities, our Special Olympics team is so memorable and unique because of its emphasis on teamwork and community. Everything the team does is founded on supporting one another, whether cheering fellow athletes down the race course, taking a “team-ski” with every athlete and coach during our lunch break, and the family support traveling far or staying near and having a potluck.” We are so thankful to Derek for his passion and endless time he he gives to our athletes. Congratulations Derek on being named the October SOCO Coach of the Month!
The Hulstrom families’ involvement dates back to the matriarch of the family, Joan Hulstrom. Having experience caring for individuals with developmental disabilities as a caregiver at a group home, she instilled the importance of giving back to this population to her four children – Roberta, Debra, Timothy, and Teresa. Through their exposure at their mother’s place of work, all four began volunteering extensively at various Special Olympics events regionally, statewide, nationally, and internationally. This passion for service to Special Olympics athletes was passed to the next generation as children. Shannon, Robert, and Denise started volunteering at and participating in SOCO sports at the age of eight. A highlight was when all three siblings represented Colorado at the Special Olympics USA Games in New Jersey in 2014 where their DDRC softball team brought home the gold! For all of this and much more, Special Olympics Colorado cannot thank the Hulstrom family enough for their dedication to our athletes and the organization as a whole. Congratulations Hulstrom Family on being named the October SOCO Family of the Month!
Detective Joe Dreiling from Adams County Sheriff’s Office has led the Law Enforcement Torch Run (LETR) Colorado charge by directing the annual Adams County Torch Run, coordinating a myriad of Tip-A-Cop statewide events and Pop-Up Tip-A-Cops in Adams County. A “Serve-Us Award” was created last year to honor Adams County Sheriff’s Office for their dedicated service and leadership in staging the most Tip-A-Cop events annually. Joe sits on the LETR Colorado Executive Council and is currently tional working on the Sponsorship Committee for the 2019 LETR International Conference that Special Olympics Colorado LETR is hosting next Fall. Adams County Sheriff’s Office also actively participates in the annual Polar Plunge and Plane Pull with 2017 bragging rights for the fastest team! Congratulations to Joe and the Adams County Sheriff’s Office on being named the October LETR Volunteer of the Month!
Bruce Rogers, with Mountaingate Capital, has been involved with Special Olympics Colorado as a corporate sponsor for our annual “Pedal for Pennies” event. Every July, the event pairs Special Olympics cyclists with riders from the Journey of Hope (JOH) Cycling Team that fundraise by making laps around City Park followed by a dinner and dance.
Bruce’s three children have spent every summer of their lives at the Pedal for Pennies event. He says it has It has helped them understand and appreciate the different abilities of all people. The friendships they and our family have formed with the athletes continue to this day, and are such a meaningful part of our lives. Bruce also added, “We are truly blessed to be a part of Special Olympics Colorado, and to also to be a part of the effort to bring together the athletes every summer with the Journey of Hope cyclists at the Pedal for Pennies event. We know the event means so much to the athletes and the JOH cyclists, who get to meet and have a great “friendship visit” every summer. Congratulations Bruce on being named the October SOCO Community Partner of the Month.