A couple of weeks ago, Special Olympics New Mexico received a contribution in memory of Lily Martinez, a long time volunteer and friend of our athletes. I first met Lily and her husband Luther eighteen years ago when I was invited to speak to the East Mesa Civitan Club. Back then Civitan sponsored Olympic Village at our State Summer Games and pretty much came to our rescue any time we needed them.From the first day she walked into my office until the last day she walked out, this born and raised New Mexican served as this executive director’s one-woman “advisory board.” Without my ever asking, she guided me – shared with me her inner strength – and gave me a lot of cariño. The many hours I spent with her remain a prized possession. This past week we directed a portion of the gift honoring Lily’s life into our Special Olympics New Mexico endowment and used the other portion to purchase much-needed sports equipment for this year’s Summer Games. I know she would have been pleased with the way we used the money, but more than that, I know Lily would be more pleased with how far our organization has come and how much it has grown. If she were standing here now, she would in her own “Lily way” remind me how much she had to do with those two things. 🙂
I am grateful for Lily Martinez and the time that she invested in me. We all need a Lily in our lives, and if we aren’t able to find one, then perhaps we need to be one.