Bethlehem Special Olympics Receives State Special Olympics Awards
To those that freely donate their skills, effort and time to non-profit organizations, awards are not the purpose of their contributions. For these individuals, their passion is usually centered around achieving the goals of the organization and those that benefit from the groups efforts. But when those individuals excel with their efforts, awards are bound to be bestowed on them. That was the case at the Special Olympics Pennsylvania Leadership Conference held December 3-4. Three awards were presented to members of the Bethlehem Special Olympics organization to recognize their outstanding work during the year. Steve Kucey received the Athlete Leadership award for his contributions. Steve, in addition to being an longtime athlete, is the Athlete Representative on the Management Team. He leads the Athlete Advisory Council to represent the athletes and ensure that their collective wishes are known to the Management Team. The Management Team Member of the Year award was presented to Bethlehem's Deborah Kocher. Deborah was selected from nominees from the over 50 local groups within Pennsylvania. In addition to being the organizations Treasurer, she was instrumental in the success of numerous events during the year. Sometimes it is a family effort that is recognized. That was the case for the Talavera Family. The significant contributions of parents Maria and Jose along with their athlete daughter Joni, were recognized with the Family of the Year Award.
Bethlehem Special Olympics was established in 1976. Since its inception, it has joined with the Bethlehem community to fulfill its mission of providing year round sports training and athletic competition programs for children and adults with intellectual disabilities. The program currently offers 17 sports programs that serve over 175 athletes, of all ages. There is never a charge to the athletes to participate in the program. Funding is supplied by local fund-raising activities and donations from the community. Donations received are applied to uniforms, training facilities, equipment and transportation
For more information about Bethlehem Special Olympics, visit www.BethlehemSOPA.org.