Annual Awards Banquet Celebrates Community Stars and Special Olympics Athletes

The Union County Board of Developmental Disabilities honored Special Olympics athletes, outstanding community members, and volunteers at their Annual Special Olympics and Community Star Awards Dinner on Thursday, January 30th, at the Honda Heritage Center. Over 125 award winners, athletes, family members, and caregivers attended the event.   
Community Stars were nominated by UCBDD staff, community members and people served by the board. Congratulations to this year’s recipients! 
Linda Fisher – Community Member of the Year for her efforts as an advocate for community inclusion 
Walgreens Pharmacy – Most Accommodating Business for going above and beyond in making their business accessible to everyone 
Kroger Marketplace Marysville – Employer of the Year for going above and beyond in providing a good work environment for all abilities 
Kelli Kesselring – Rising Star for her commendable effort to expand her community involvement 
Keith Elliott – Star Volunteer for his exemplary pursuit of giving back to the community through volunteer work 
Donna Trudeau – Community Star for being involved and doing great things in the community 
Cecelia McCoy – Outstanding Support Professional for going above and beyond enhancing the lives of the people you serve 
Kacie Patterson – Student Advocate Award for making a significant impact in the lives of other young people  
The evening also included special recognition for representatives of the Why Not Challenge that began in 2019. The goal of this initiative is to match people supported through the Union County Board of Developmental Disabilities with community members based on social and recreational areas of interest. Awards were given to Susan Lykins, Sherri Rutan, Lisa Schmahl, Donna Trudeau, Liz Vamos, and Chris Waters. These ladies meet on a monthly basis to go out to eat, see movies, and experience new activities in the community.  
In 2019, UCBDD had over 70 Special Olympics athletes, and this night was an opportunity to recognize the dedicated individuals who participated throughout the year. Several highlights from the year include: 
  • Flag Football – 2nd Place in Division 2 at the State Tournament 
  • Track and Field – 10 Athletes qualified for the State track meet.  Eight of those athletes placed within the top three of their division for at least one event. 
  • Bocce Ball – Five bocce teams qualified for the State tournament. Two of those teams finished in the Top Three for their division. 
  • Bowling – 22 bowlers qualified for the State Tournament. Six of those teams placed third or above in their respective divisions. 
  • Swimming – Three Swimmers Qualified for the State Tournament taking place in February 
In addition to recognizing all of the program and team accomplishments, MVP and Individual Awards were presented. All athletes received a participation certificate to commemorate the year.  
Flag Football MVP – Jonluc Thompson 
Bowling MVP – Kyle Allen 
Bocce Ball MVPs – Andrew Wright and Lyndsie Anspach 
Track MVP – Shannon Daniels 
Basketball MVP – Chris Gambrel 
Swimming MVP – DJ Litzke 
Rookie of the Year – Lyndsie Anspach 
Best Teammate Award – Jake Hoffman 
Most Improved – Jason Sinden 
Thank you to all who attended this wonderful event!