Photo provided
Photo provided
Special Olympics Kosciusko County held its annual athlete awards dinner Aug. 19 at the Knights of Columbus Hall in Warsaw. There were just over 100 athletes, parents, volunteers and coaches attending, according to Becky Walls, Kosciusko County coordinator for Special Olympics. Featured speaker Jane Wear, CEO of Cardinal Services, provided a motivational talk to the group stressing the importance of their hard work. Every athlete received acknowledgment at the banquet for their participation. Special recognition was given to the Spirit of the Special Olympics award winners. Matt Swartz was chosen as coach of the year for his work with the basketball team. Courtney Linnemeier was the volunteer of the year for leading the Wawasee basketball fundraising event. Sandy Bibler was named athlete of the year; she participated in bowling, basketball, bocce and corn toss. And recognized as the family of the year was the Paxton family, which included Gary Paxton, Julia Radford, Wayne Radford and Jennifer Vance. They exemplified the qualities of caring and giving in the Special Olympics spirit, according to information from the organization. Athletes are currently participating in bowling, flag football and corn toss. Pictured (L to R) are, front row: Bibler, Julia Radford and Vance; second row: Swartz, Wayne Radford, Paxton and Linnemeier.