2012 Distinguished Service Award Winners
2012 Outstanding Family of the Year: THE KILE FAMILY HAS BEEN INVOLVED IN SPECIAL OLYMPICS FOR A NUMBER OF YEARS. TERRY, THE DAD, WAS AND IS STILL A VOLUNTEER WITH THE SCHOOL SYSTEM. WHEN THE SCHOOL SYSTEM CUT BUDGETS TO THE SPECIAL OLYMPICS PROGRAM AND WERE UNABLE TO ATTEND ANY STATE GAMES, TERRI GOT CERTIFIED IN THE SPORTS HIS DAUGHTER WANTED TO COMPETE IN AND TOOK HER HIMSELF. HE ALSO BRINGS ALONG AT LEAST TWO OTHER ATHLETES WITH HIM TO COMPETE AS WELL. TERRY, WHO’S A CIVIL SERVANT, HAS DONE TOURS IN IRAQ AND LAST YEAR PRESENTED SPECIAL OLYMPICS GEORGIA WITH AN AMERICAN FLAG THAT FLEW AT THE EMBASSY IN BAGHDAD ON SEPTEMBER 11TH 2011. HIS DAUGHTER, ELIZABETH, IS A SCREVEN COUNTY ATHLETE. SHE COMPETES IN SOFTBALL AND BASKETBALL SKILLS. JENNIFER, THE MOTHER, IS A LOYAL FAN AND IS ALWAYS WILLING TO LEND A HELPING HAND. AS A FAMILY THEY GO ABOVE AND BEYOND WHAT IS EXPECTED AND DO IT ALL FOR ATHLETES! THEY ARE A WONDERFUL ASSET TO SPECIAL OLYMPICS GEORGIA.
2012 Outstanding Local Program of the Year: Gwinnett Masters has been serving adult age athletes for over 2 years now. It was formed when a need was recognized that there was a significant number of special olympics georgia athletes who had graduated from high school but still wanted to compete in soga competitions. Supported by the local community and driven by dedicated volunteers, this agency serves over 275 adult athletes and they continue to grow each year.
2012 Male Athlete of the Year: Jimpson Rosser is A YOUNG MAN WHO HAS BEEN INVOLVED WITH Special Olympics Georgia FOR MORE THAN 12 YEARS. WITH HIS EXTENSIVE PARTICIPATION IN COMPETITION, HAS COME MANY ACCOMPLISHMENTS. SINCE HE WAS OLD ENOUGH TO COMPETE, HE HAS NOT MISSED A LOCAL EVENT IN HIS WHOLE SPECIAL OLYMPICS CAREER. HE HAS ALSO COMPETED AT THE STATE LEVEL, IN FALL GAMES, WINTER GAMES AND SUMMER GAMES IN VARIOUS SPORTS SUCH AS CYCLING, BOWLING AND TRACK & FIELD. ASIDE FROM HIS ATHLETIC TALENT, THIS ATHLETE IS ALSO AN ACCOMPLISHED MUSICIAN. AS A VOCALIST AND KEYBOARDIST HE HAS PERFORMED AT MANY COMMUNITY AND CHURCH EVENTS.
2012 Outstanding Youth Volunteer: Taylor Shelton is an extraordinary young lady who demonstrates leadership, courage, integrity and compassion. She has been a volunteer with the Special K’s for the last five years, and as the local coordinator describes her, “she is someone who steps in whenever and whereever she is needed or wanted!” Taylor has been an assistant coach, as well as a unified partner. She continually sets an example to all the athletes to promote THE QUALITY OF RESPECT, and in return the athletes of her delegation show her appreciation and respect for her hard work.
2012 Outstanding Organization: The Knights of Columbus #6622, for more than 10 years, has given their time and energy to the cause and mission of Special Olympics locally in Coweta County. This group of men, diverse in their skills, take on any task, whatever is needed of them in order to make Coweta County Special Olympics local games year round, a success. The Knights of Columbus has sponsored and hosted various fundraising events in the community to financially benefit the local program. They have also provided volunteers at numerous state events, such as winter games and masters bowling. As the local coordinator, Kelli Abercrombie, puts it they are “wonderful men with kind hearts and serving spirits!”
2012 Female Athlete of the Year: MONTANA BUSH HAS HAD MANY ACCOMPLISHMENTS SINCE FIRST COMPETING AS AN ATHLETE BACK IN 2001. SHE HAS COMPETED ON THE STATE SWIM TEAM AT SUMMER GAMES AND THE STATE CYCLING TEAM AT FALL GAMES. BEFORE STATE, TANA COULD NOT EVEN RIDE A BIKE, BUT WITH COURAGE AND HARD PRACTICE SHE WENT ON TO EARN HER SPOT AT STATE GAMES. ASIDE FROM SPORTS, TANA WAS ALSO NAMED SECOND RUNNER UP AT THE MISS INDIAN PRINCESS PAGEANT. BY WINNING THIS TITLE, SHE WAS ALLOWED TO NAME A CHARITY OF HER CHOICE AND CHOSE COWETA COUNTY SPECIAL OLYMPICS AS THE BENEFACTOR.
2012 Outstanding Local Coordinator: Mike O’ Connell, since 2003, has constantly been on the move. from nighttime practices, coaches meetings, and coordinator meetings during the day, it is a job that when done right allows little time to sit still. Because of his hardwork, the delegation has grown to become THE LARGEST masters program in the state with more than 300 athletes.
2012 Outstanding Coach of the Year: Tom Uebelacker has been with Special Olympics Georgia since 2005. Initially, Tom volunteered occasionally for the state office, due to his busy career. After speaking with the local coordinator for his delegation, he eventually agreed to help out with master’s bowling. This then turned into volunteering for golf, then tennis, basketball and power lifting!He has also served on the management team for many years. at one point, when told to be careful about not overwhelming himself with coaching, he said “I gets so much more out of it than I give.” Tom always goes above and beyond, taking groups of athletes to Georgia Tech baseball games and tailgates. He always serves the athletes with a smile and an “I can and will” attitude.