Awards and Recognitions
SOKS Annual Awards
Each year Special Olympics Kansas recognizes outstanding individuals who contribute to the organization. As a non-profit we couldn’t do what we do for individuals with intellectual disabilities in Kansas without the support of thousands of volunteer coaches, event management teams, and partner organizations throughout the state. Winners for each category are recognized at the Summer Games opening ceremony each year.
Annual awards are given for the following categories: Family of the Year, Coach of the Year, Volunteer of the Year, Law Enforcement Torch Run Champion, and Organization of the Year. In addition, one athlete is selected and recognized as the Most Inspirational Athlete at summer games. Each year a group of outstanding athletes are also selected for induction in the SOKS Athlete Hall of Fame, and a law enforcement officer is chosen for the Richard LaMunyon Hall of Fame.
HALL OF FAME
Athletes inducted into the Hall of Fame are selected based on participation, sportsmanship, training hours and attitude towards the Special Olympics program. Nominations are accepted each year, and announcements are made at the Opening Ceremonies of the Summer Games.
Click HERE for a listing of athletes from 1977-present inducted into the Hall of Fame. The Special Olympics Kansas Hall of Fame is located at the Headquarters office in Mission.
2020 Hall of Fame Inductees
Karen Kay Carroll
Johnson County Parks and Recreation Depart-ment (JCPRD)
MIRIAM GREENFIELD COURAGE AWARD
Miriam Greenfield is a lifelong storyteller. She is a three-time national sports Emmy winner. Her 25-year career at ESPN has taken her to 48 of 50 states and over 20 countries covering the NFL, MLB, NBA, Special Olympics USA and World Games and the World Cup.
The most meaningful stories she has told are not of professional athletes. But people that demonstrated an extraordinary amount of bravery and courage: a Special Olympics athlete who was bullied and battled severe depression who became global ambassador and won six gold medals at World Games, a young race car driver who suffered third degree burns over most of her body to return to racing and beat men twice her age, an Air Force pararescueman that returned to active duty following losing his leg in an attack.
That courage and bravery is something Miriam needed during her battles with life threatening illnesses and life altering injuries. She is fortunate for the people along the way that have inspired her and cheered her on.
The 2020 Miriam Greenfield Courage Award Winner
is Patrick Donelan of the Olathe Trailblazers
MAKING A DIFFERENCE AWARD WINNERS
It is an honor to recognize outstanding service to our organization. These individuals and groups have made a significant difference in the lives of our athletes in our programming and in our mission. SOKS is proud to recognize their accomplishments.
2019 Award Recipients:
Coach of the Year
Blue Valley Blue Streaks
Volunteer of the Year
Kansas City Metro Region
Family of the Year
Manhattan Sports Club
Organizations of the Year
Organizations from each region are recognized annually for their contribution to Special Olympics Kansas.
Sporting Kansas City
Bourbon County Sheriff’s Office
South Central Region
Kiwanis of Buhler
North Central Region
Topeka Civitan Club
American Legion Post #363 Colby
RICHARD LAMUNYON HALL OF FAME
The Richard LaMunyon Torch Run Hall of fame was created to recognize outstanding individuals who have significantly contributed to the statewide success of the Kansas Law Enforcement Torch Run benefiting Special Olympics. The winner’s involvement must demonstrate a sustained and significant contribution to the achievement of the goals of the Kansas Law Enforcement Torch Run. The minimum requirements for this award are at least five (5) years of participation with the Kansas Torch Run, outstanding achievement in program development, organization and fundraising success.
Congratulations to the 2019 Richard LaMunyon Hall of Fame winner Joni Showalter. Joni engaged the communities in NW Kansas to embrace SOKS, our mission, and our athletes! She led the highest fundraising LETR Region per capita for 5 consecutive years and engaged 85% of the counties within her Region. She started the Goodland Mustangs Local Program team when she realized there were potential athletes in Goodland without a team. She was responsible for creating and hosting the first “Community Torch Run” in Kansas. Serving as the leader in our new style of events.
Don’t see the name of someone you think deserves to be recognized and thanked? Then please consider nominating them for an award this year. For questions and/or to submit nomination forms contact firstname.lastname@example.org or by fax 913.236.9771. Nomination Forms and Awards Criteria are available under the Nominations Forms tab at the top of the page. Please download and save to your computer before completing the forms. Nominations can also be mailed to the headquarters office at Special Olympics Kansas, 5280 Foxridge Drive, Mission, KS 66202.