Mattel Volunteers Support Athletes at the 2012 State Softball Finals
By: Christine Hatty
Mattel volunteers felt the spirit while at the Special Olympics Michigan (SOMI) 2012 State Softball Finals presented by Amerisure on Saturday, July 21 at the Canton Sports Center in Canton, Mich.
The Mattel volunteers helped out at the TRAIN (testing recreational activities and improving nutrition) program. TRAIN combines sports aptitude testing with nutrition education to promote healthy lifestyles for athletes and their families.
Joanell Pond of Mattel has volunteered in many other SOMI events in the past and will continue volunteering at SOMI events in the future. "It is always a positive atmosphere whether it's from the athletes or the volunteers. Everyone always wants to be here."
Joanell loves the "can do spirit" that the athletes possess. No matter what the situation holds, all of the SOMI athletes do in fact know they can do anything. Kevin Mull, the Coach of the Plymouth Canton White Stars of Area 23 (Wayne County) said, "...the athletes put in so much effort, no matter their abilities."
Another Mattel volunteer, Debbi Koppin, brought her son Carson Koppin, 14, and his two friends Blake McConnell, 14 and Jared Haidys, 14 to the 2012 State Softball Finals with her. This event was Debbi's first SOMI event she has been to, and it is Carson's forth year volunteering. Debbi knew that when she left for the day she would feel good and know she made a difference in someone's life. Debbi has seen the positive effects Carson has gained from volunteering at SOMI events, and at the 2012 State Softball Finals she first handedly saw the effects SOMI has on herself as well as the athletes which has now encouraged her to volunteer in the future.
Joanell and Debbi came to the consensus that everyone needs to come to a SOMI event to really get the whole picture of what people talk about. "Anyone could tell you how amazing and beneficial being a part of SOMI is, but the inclusion, joy, friendship and life changing events are evident as soon as you are in the atmosphere," they said.
The other two Mattel volunteers were sisters Chelsea Garcia, 19, and Ashlei Garcia, 21. Their aunt works for Mattel, so they came out to volunteer. Their favorite part of volunteering for SOMI is all of the excitement around the events. Ashlei said, "All of the athletes are excited to play, and the volunteers are excited to help. It's just a great atmosphere."
The four women worked the push-up station in TRAIN and the three young men worked the medicine ball throw and the three minute step test. All seven Mattel volunteers were encouraging and motivating the athletes, teaching correct techniques, and most importantly, being every athlete's number one fan.
Thank you to Mattel and all of the volunteers and supporters of the 2012 State Softball Finals presented by Amerisure who show continuous dedication and support to SOMI programs, events and athletes.
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- 6/17: Area 8 Golf Invitational (East Lansing)
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