On May 18, SEASPAR staff, volunteers, participants, families, and partners came together to celebrate a year of achievement at the annual Believe & Achieve Recognition Banquet. More than 300 people attended the event at Abbington Banquets in Glen Ellyn.
One highlight of the banquet is the presentation of awards to participants, volunteers, and staff. Please join us in congratulating the following award winners!
Athlete of the Year – Michael Duffy
After three years in our Special Olympics Alpine Skiing program, Michael has progressed to become the fastest and only Level 4 skier at SEASPAR, qualifying for this year’s Illinois Winter Games and bringing home a bronze medal.
Cultural Artist of the Year – Bryal Peterson
Bryal is a mainstay on the main stage with her participation in voice lessons, Glee Club, and Actors Guild, also overcoming an injury to qualify for the Special Olympics Illinois Summer Games in Aquatics this year.
Achievement Award – Erin Compton
You may remember Erin from her performance at last year’s Holiday Spectacular – this incredible young woman went from life support in November to playing the piano and giving a speech as Illinois Miss Amazing Preteen Queen at our event in December.
Virtuous Volunteer Award – Liz Huskey and Otis
Liz Huskey began volunteering with the EAGLES program four years ago with her newly certified therapy dog, Otis. Their visits continue to be greatly anticipated by participants and staff.
Leading Light Award (Part-time Staff) – Katie Lyter
Katie started her journey with SEASPAR in March of 2015 and hit the ground running, always willing to step into a leadership role and adept at building positive relationships with participants and staff.
Super Star Award (Part-time Staff) – Amy Klama
Amy joined the SEASPAR staff in 2007 and regularly goes above and beyond the “call of duty” in her work in various program areas including weekly programs, EAGLES, and inclusion.
Another highlight of the Believe & Achieve Recognition Banquet is the video presentation that shares the experiences of participants through photos and videos taken at programs and events. Watch this year’s video, entitled “We Are SEASPAR,” on YouTube.
Participant Daniel Smrokowski, curator of the “Special Chronicles” radio show, covered the event, interviewing participants, families, and staff. Check out the podcast.