Above and Beyond

On Saturday, August 6, Special Olympics New Mexico is hosting an event that I believe would be a refreshing addition to the nightly news. In partnership with the French Family of Companies, we will present fifteen Distinguished Service Awards to people in our organization who have not only met but far exceeded the expectations of their role and responsibilities. By doing so, the Special Olympics movement in New Mexico has been considerably strengthened and blessed beyond measure.

My thoughts today are about the people we will honor and the choice each one made not only to serve, but to serve wholeheartedly. Some people made the right changes at the right time to strengthen Special Olympics New Mexico now and into the future. Many awardees elevate our value, moving us from a good nonprofit organization to an excellent one. Some have shared their talents and abilities by selflessly gifting them to us in ways that have added to our joy and celebration. And others have filled an obvious and specific need, which allows us to continue the meaningful work of transforming lives, building inclusive communities, and improving the quality of life for Special Olympics athletes.

For 28 years, Special Olympics New Mexico has recognized those deserving of a Distinguished Service Award. I am very thankful that for the second year in a row, we are able to honor them in this special way.

Special Olympics New Mexico Distinguished Service Awards

Presented by the French Family of Companies 

Athlete Artist of the Year

Smith Weber Sandager

Outstanding Athlete Leader

Shelby Peterson

Coaches of the Year

Robert & Carola Covarrubia

Outstanding Local Program

Special Olympics Bloomfield

Outstanding Family

The Correa Family

Outstanding Unified Champion School

Tricia Grajeda, Rio Rancho Elementary School

Outstanding Volunteer

Geoff Freeze

Outstanding Unified Partner

Richard Wirtemburg

Outstanding Civic Organization

La Cueva Football  

Outstanding Business


Outstanding Board Member

Dub Girand

Hall of Fame

Chris Castillo

Hall of Fame

Anita Williams Kelly, In Memoriam

Pursuit of Excellence

Tom Padilla

EKS Legacy Award

Carolyn Olson

Painting by Smith Weber Sandager, Special Olympics athlete and artist

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