Recognizing Special Olympics champions during 50th anniversary

Special Olympics 50th medallion
Special Olympics 50th anniversary medallion recipients Bernie Pascall (left) and Ted Hirst (centre) with SOBC President Dan Howe.

Through 2018 and 2019, Special Olympics BC celebrated the 50th anniversary of the global Special Olympics movement, participating in inspiring events and sharing stories of our game-changing organization. Take a walk through history with our #50moments series

As part of the festivities, SOBC awarded Special Olympics 50th anniversary medallions to champions who have changed lives and changed the way the world sees individuals with intellectual disabilities. SOBC received a small number of these commemorative medallions to award to individuals, in order to recognize their outstanding support of the Special Olympics movement in British Columbia.

These people are our stars. Without them, SOBC would not have been able to grow to more than 5,200 athletes, 4,600 volunteers, countless empowering competitions, and life-changing programs in 55 communities around our province. Sincere thanks to these inspiring individuals for their significant impact throughout the history of our movement!

Vera Anderson

Vera Anderson has been coaching and volunteering with Special Olympics BC – Coquitlam for more than 30 years. Not only has she provided vital support to ongoing programs, she organizes two popular annual competitions in softball and speed skating that provide important opportunities for athletes from throughout the region and province.

Manse Binkley

Manse Binkley, the Dealer Principal of Harmony Honda and Harmony Acura, has provided remarkable support to Special Olympics BC through New Car Dealers Foundation / SOBC Auction. For nearly 20 years, he has generously made personal donations and has volunteered to secure item donations from throughout the Okanagan, all with the goal of supporting the confidence and self-assurance that he sees and admires in Special Olympics athletes. 

Dan Howe and Special Olympics 50th medallion recipient Doug Bower.

Doug Bower has been a longtime champion for awareness of Special Olympics athletes and programs, as a dedicated multimedia consultant for the Vancouver Sun and The Province who has powered the long-standing partnership between these influential papers and Special Olympics BC. His support has created opportunities for Special Olympics athletes to stand in the spotlight for their abilities, and has played an important part in several of our leading fundraising events.

Jo Buck

Jo Buck has been a driving force behind the successful Special Olympics BC – Terrace programs for 28 years. She has contributed so much dedication in so many roles to help create opportunities for athletes, both with her local programs and in provincial, regional, and local competitions. 

Derek Fuhr is a volunteer Event Director for the highly successful motionball Marathon of Sport Kelowna. Not only has this event raised more than $1 million to support Special Olympics athletes across the country and right here in B.C., it has introduced hundreds of people to the power and joy of Special Olympics. Fuhr has been an integral and inspiring part of this event, and a valued champion of the movement for future generations.  

Roshan Gosal

Roshan Gosal is a 21-year-old volunteer and leader for the future of the Special Olympics movement. As a teenager, he began coaching with SOBC – Abbotsford and went above and beyond by implementing the Spread the Word: Inclusion campaign throughout his community. Today he is a valued advocate, SOBC Leadership Council member, and coach.

Christina Hadley is SOBC’s Vice President, Fund Development & Communications, and has been a vital champion of the movement as a staff member and volunteer for more than 30 years. She has worked passionately and tirelessly to build SOBC’s fundraising initiatives, develop relationships that move our organization forward, improve awareness of our movement, and ensure top-quality experiences for so many people throughout our organization. 

Mona Hazell

Mona Hazell has been a Special Olympics BC volunteer and coach for more than 32 years. With her dedicated, thoughtful, and insightful leadership, she has been critical to the success of SOBC – Penticton. She has played an important role in developing SOBC programs in her community and across the province.

Ted Hirst has been a passionate, committed member of Special Olympics BC’s Board of Directors for 10 years. He is a donor, a sponsor, a leader, and a great friend of this organization. He believes fully in our mandate, and he and his company Canaccord Genuity provide vital funding and support to create opportunities for SOBC athletes.

Clint Morrison

Clint Morrison is a former athlete who has been involved since the earliest years of the movement, and has binder after binder of newspaper clippings to prove it! He remains an active and valued champion of Special Olympics, raising funds as well as awareness among government and community leaders.

Debra McLeod is a Delta Police Department Inspector who has raised significant funds and awareness for Special Olympics through her years of involvement with the BC Law Enforcement Torch Run. She has had an impact from the local level, as a passionate champion for Delta and B.C. athletes, to the global level as a member of the 2011 World Games LETR Final Leg.

Lois McNary is SOBC’s Vice President, Sport, and has played a critical part in the organization’s development as a staff member and volunteer for more than 30 years. She has provided essential leadership, expertise, dedication, and caring in a vast range of roles, ensuring top-quality sport programs, empowering leadership opportunities, and life-changing health initiatives for Special Olympics athletes throughout the province, country, and planet.

Bernie Pascall is a celebrated broadcaster who has been a dedicated champion of Special Olympics athletes and programs ever since he covered the very first Special Olympics Games in 1968 at Soldier Field in Chicago. For 50 years, he has always been there for SOBC, and he has always told anyone who would listen about the great athletes in Special Olympics.

Randy Scott

Randy Scott has had a life-changing positive impact on so many people throughout his 31 years as a Special Olympics coach. The SOBC – North Shore alpine skiing coach has been an inspirational leader in his sport and as the alpine skiing Head Coach for many regional, provincial, and national teams. 

Anne Tilley

Anne Tilley played a critical part in the creation of the Special Olympics movement in B.C. She served as a member of Special Olympics BC’s Board of Directors at the founding of SOBC, and was a vital champion for many years, both in Special Olympics and in the kinesiology field leading growth and development support for individuals with intellectual disabilities. 

Garth Vickers has inspired so many athletes to elevate their performance and achieve excellence throughout his 21 years as a Special Olympics BC – Kelowna coach. He has led many cross country skiing athletes to success in regional, provincial, national, and international competitions. 

Abdul Walli

Abdul Walli and Park’N Fly Vancouver have been great friends of our movement for many years. They generously offer parking discounts to Special Olympics BC members to help with our wide-ranging travel needs, and they have contributed many donations to SOBC fundraising events. 

Joanne Wild

Joanne Wild is a Vancouver Police Department Inspector who has been a champion of Special Olympics through the BC Law Enforcement Torch Run for more than 25 years. She has dedicated thousands of kilometres and hours, as well as boundless personal passion, to raise significant funds and awareness for Special Olympics athletes. 

There are a few more medallions to be presented in 2020, so stay tuned to hear more about SOBC champions!