When SONM athlete Marcus Hopkins passed away five years ago, it left a hole in a lot of people’s hearts. His name comes up frequently around Special Olympics New Mexico, and a few weeks ago, it came up again in a very beautiful way. The memory of Marcus was about to be uniquely honored by his brother, Sam, and Sam’s future wife, Clementine.
I just couldn’t resist sharing Sam’s words with you:
“There’s so many good things to say about Marcus that we could easily be here all day, remembering and talking about them. However, there was one particular defining feature of Marcus’ life that tells us a lot about him, and that was Special Olympics. It was a vehicle for many of the things he loved most in life: sports, exercise, competition, learning, community, friendship, sharing, and love. He played every Special Olympics sport that he could get his hands on, relished every moment, and was always up for more.
The number and variety of options that there were in Special Olympics was so important to him. Most of our conversations ended up on subjects such as the upcoming basketball season, the new teammates on his softball team, the results of the weekend’s track and field competition, and how he was improving in cycling. Seeing him at any Special Olympics event was like watching a class reunion. Marcus had so many life-long friends that he saw on a regular basis because of their shared interest in Special Olympics. One of the fondest memories I have of us growing up together is going to the Special Olympics World Summer Games in North Carolina. What an incredible once-in-a-lifetime adventure for my brother to be able to meet and mingle with other Special Olympics athletes from literally all over the world.
For many people like Marcus, Special Olympics is the only vehicle they have to keep physically fit, make new friends, and feel like a welcomed part of a community. Despite this fact, Special Olympics New Mexico endured some funding cuts a while back, and the organization is still catching up and can really use a boost. So, instead of a wedding present, Clem and I are asking for your generous donations to Special Olympics New Mexico. Give as much as you can because every dollar, euro, quid, peso, or rupee will make a very real difference in someone’s life.”
Thank you Sam and Clem. Your thoughtfulness not only helped to fill our organization’s financial hole a little more, but maybe even more importantly Sam, your words helped fill the hole in everyone’s hearts a little more. -Randy