Category: Mission

Volunteering a ‘Thrill’ For Retired CHP Officer

  For retired California Highway Patrol Officer Chris Blondon, the moments at the medal stand with the Special Olympics Southern California athletes represented “the biggest and best part” of his involvement. But that was just one aspect of a role with the Law Enforcement Torch Run that allowed him to volunteer at various events, and ...

An Angel in the Work Force

Baseball season marks the return of peanuts, Crackerjacks and the sight of Special Olympics Southern California athlete Trevor Hendershot at the Los Angeles Angels’ team store. For six years, the 26-year-old from Irvine has balanced the life of athlete and greeter at the official team store for both the Angels and Anaheim Ducks. Trevor’s father, ...

Looking Back: Volunteer Brings Light Show to 2016 Summer Games

A photography hobby of volunteer Shereef Moustafa’s turned into a dazzling light show for Special Olympics Southern California athletes at the 2016 Summer Games. Shereef, a volunteer since fall 2004, dabbles in light painting photography on the side. The technique captures exposures made with the movement of a hand-held light source while taking a long ...

Kaylena Mann: Coach On and Off the Field

By Naomi Cahill Kaylena Mann is no stranger to being on a sports team. The San Fernando Valley native has been a member of a synchronized swimming team, swam for the Vision Swim Club, and participated in triathlons. However, at 16, Mann has been given a title not many her age can say they possess: ...

Giving for the Future

Fern Rudd, like any parent, wants to ensure her child’s future is secure – even long after she’s around to see his life unfold. Her son, Devon Thompson, is a 26-year-old Special Olympics Southern California athlete in the Inland Empire region. He grew up with limited language and verbal skills. It wasn’t until Devon started ...

Officer to Coach: Scott Lazenby Does it All

Scott Lazenby wears a number of different hats, most important of all being a SWAT Crisis Negotiator Training Officer. But he also cherishes his involvement in Special Olympics through the Law Enforcement Torch Run. When he’s not working, Scott spends his time coaching swimming and bowling in Kern County. The involvement stems from early-life experiences ...

Jasmine Miles Becomes a Leader

Jasmine Miles grew up like so many others with intellectual disabilities. Children at school would treat her differently without ever getting to know her, while the rest of the children were treated with more respect, no questions asked. Now 27 years old, Jasmine thinks back and has just one question: Why? "It's like why are ...

Teacher Appreciation: Life Changing

More than four years ago, Thompson Garrard was presented with an opportunity that changed his life forever. Garrard, an avid golfer who wanted to spread his love for the game, was looking for an avenue to teach golf. And when Special Olympics Santa Barbara was looking for coaches, it was the perfect opportunity. Garrard stepped ...

Father Lives Through Daughter’s World Games Experience

Lorenzo Aceves remembers walking around Los Angeles as a tourist during the 1984 Summer Olympics. He was hoping to get a glimpse of the action and the atmosphere inside the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, but to no avail. Fast-forward 31 years later, now as a father to tennis player and Special Olympics Southern California athlete ...

An Eye-Opening Healthy Athletes Experience

By Naomi Cahill and Tracy McDannald Donna Wilson and her daughter, Vanessa, look at Special Olympics as more than a sports organization – thanks to an examination at a Healthy Athletes station. Donna and her husband have five children – three of them adopted and with Down syndrome. The two eldest boys grew up playing ...