Volunteer Week: Honoring Those Behind the Scenes


LONG BEACH (April 19, 2017) – Special Olympics Southern California would not exist today without the expertise, time, and enthusiasm of its volunteers. They are on the sports field guiding the athletes through drills. They are behind the scenes ensuring events run properly while giving and receiving more high fives and hugs than they can count.

Because of that, there is an honorary week just for them.

National Volunteer Week is April 23-29 and Special Olympics Southern California will pay tribute to the more than 8,500 volunteers that give their time and efforts for the Special Olympics Athletes.

Each year, SOSC honors a distinguished few of those 8,500 volunteers with annual volunteer awards. The John West Award is presented annually to honor volunteers’ accomplishments within SOSC, as well as their hard work and dedication to help Special Olympics athletes succeed and reach their goals.

Earning the John West Memorial Award for 2017 is Cynda Logsdon. For the past 14 years, Logsdon has been an SOSC parent, volunteer, donor, and champion of Special Olympics Southern California. Her son trains and competes on the Southern California Long Beach swimming and basketball teams.

The Michael W Harahan Award is presented to volunteers with exceptional dedication and performance in their volunteer role(s). Since 1999, through funding provided by the Simmons-Balser Foundation, Special Olympics Southern California has been able to honor the accomplishments of outstanding adult volunteers from all over Southern California. Each year the SOSC honors one Harahan Award winner along with select number of Recipients.

The Harahan Award winner for 2017 is Edward Saxey II. He became involved with Special Olympics when his son, Ned, became a Ventura athlete at the age of eight. After Ned turned 18 (in 1996), Ed became a volunteer, coaching basketball since 2000 and soccer since 1996.

Harahan Recipients for 2017 are Jim Cayer (Communications), Kayla Edwards (Santa Barbara), Erich Gross (Northern Santa Barbara), Tom and Jackie Hartman (Santa Clarita Valley), Gabby and Kathy Lean (Tri-Valley), Jane Netherton (Board of Director), Cassie Pitkin (San Luis Obispo County), Jennifer Purcell (Orange County), officer Linda Tousley (San Diego), and Adrian Williams (Inland Empire).

For more information on National Volunteer Week and more extraordinary stories from SOSC volunteers, visit SOSC.org or visit SOSC on social media #WeAreSOSC.

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