May 2017 Recognition Winners

Andrew Zimpel 
Male Athlete
Denver Region

Andrew has been competing in Special Olympics Colorado events including bowling and track and field, for 8 years and continues to inspire his teammates and spectators across the state. Andrew is blind and only has full use of one side of his body, but he has NEVER let that stop him competing in events like the 400m race, the softball throw and the 100m race. He competes in the longest WC race available with no sight and only one arm. He is one of the best cheerleaders on his team and is constantly encouraging other athletes and giving hugs and high fives to everyone he can reach! He is a true team player. Andrew has never known a stranger a day in his life. He has friends from the community, from his day program and from Special Olympics Colorado events.

Susan Sperling
Female Athlete
Southeast Region

Susan participates in many sports year-round with Special Olympics Colorado and is always a joy to see at competitions. Susan just competed in the 200m and 400m walk along with the shot-put at the Southeast Region Spring Games in Pueblo where she took home 2 bronze medals and a gold medal.  Susan is always eager to participate and constantly strives to do her best. She is also always eager to talk about her parrots so be sure to ask her about them the next time you see her!

The Scheppers Family
Athlete – Ashton
Parents – Kristen and Mike
Siblings – Owen and Madison
Young Athletes Program


Ashton Scheppers is a Special Olympics Colorado Athlete in our Young Athletes Program. His parents Kristen and Mike and siblings Owen and Madison are Ashton’s biggest fans and support him in all of the sports he participates in. Ashton participates in soccer, gymnastics and track and field.

When Ashton was born, the family could not find inclusive activities for him to be involved with. Ashton’s mother Kristen said, “Special Olympics Colorado has really improved Ashton’s confidence and self esteem.” When asking his sister Madison her favorite part of supporting her brother she said,”Going to Grand Junction for Summer Games to help with Special Olympics!”

The Scheppers family is a member of the Special Olympics Colorado Family Input Council as well as the Young Athletes Program Committee.

Dan Severson
Western Region

Dan has been involved with Special Olympics Colorado for over 15 years as part of the Kwanis Club of Craig who has been a sponsor of SOCO for over 25 years. Dan has been the Games Director of the Craig Spring Games for 10 years. He spends countless hours preparing for the Craig Springs Games to make sure the games are run smoothly. Congratulations on being named the May Volunteer of the Month, Dan!

Jesse Branham
Denver Region

Jesse has been coaching Special Olympics Colorado powerlifting for almost 10 years.  He and SOCO athlete Jeremy Wade have proved to be a strong team together, taking home a gold medal in nearly every state competition they have competed in together. Jeremy and Jesse compete in Special Olympics Colorado powerlifting events, as well as USPA sanctioned meets in the state. Jesse’s extensive knowledge of the sport of powerlifting dates back to his tenure as a powerlifter himself. Special Olympics Colorado is fortunate to have Jesse as a leader and coach!

Adams County Sheriff’s Office
LETR Agency

Since the beginning of 2017, Adams County Sheriff’s Office (ACSO) has taken their fundraising to a whole new level to help reach our $1M goal. In February alone, ACSO organized and hosted two individual Tip-A-Cop events at TGI Friday’s and Tia Maria’s. ASCO also partnered with Boyers Coffee with a “drink of the week” with proceeds going to support our athletic programs and competitions.

Thanks to Detective Joe Dreiling, (LETR Deputy Director), his efforts helped to secure all 4 TGI Fridays to host a quarterly Tip-A- Cop event.

With the support of neighboring law enforcement agencies, a Polar Plunge team, a Torch Run (on May 19), and showing a great presence at local competitions to present medals to our athletes, Adam’s County Sheriff’s Office has been selected as the LETR Agency of the Month, raising a total of $4,838.51 so far this year!