SOMI Recognizes Frank Kelley, George Perles, Peter Secchia and more at the 2012 Inspire Greatness Gala on Friday, Nov. 9!

(Gala Brings a Night of Recognition, Celebration and Inspiration to the Motor City)


Special Olympics Michigan presented the 2012 Joe Falls Inspiration Award to former Michigan Attorney General Frank Kelley, former MSU Football Coach George Perles and former U.S. Ambassador to Italy Peter Secchia who have raised one million dollars in over 25 years for Special Olympics Michigan through their annual Golf Classic in Lansing. They were presented this award at the Special Olympics Michigan 2012 Inspire Greatness Gala on Friday, Nov. 9 at Sound Board at MotorCity Casino Hotel. The award was one of three presented during the Inspire Greatness Gala.

The Joe Falls Inspiration Award recognizes an individual or individuals who have had a dramatic and historic impact on Special Olympics Michigan. It is named after Joe Falls who had a deep passion for helping Special Olympics Michigan athletes. He passed away in 2004 at age 76. Joe was the voice of sports journalism with the Detroit Free Press, and was also a longtime Sports Editor and Reporter for both the Detroit News and Detroit Free Press.

Central Michigan University (CMU) received the Special Olympics Michigan Legacy Award. The Legacy Award recognizes a corporation or organization involved with Special Olympics Michigan who has had an historic and dramatic impact on the program while representing the spirit and ideals of Special Olympics. CMU has been the home for the Special Olympics Michigan state office since 1972. Since 2002, CMU employees have raised $114,700 for Special Olympics Michigan athletes through various efforts.

Special Olympics Michigan President & CEO Lois Arnold presented The President's Award to Doug Kinnan, Chief Financial Officer & Treasurer of Amerisure Mutual Holdings, Inc. Doug Kinnan has been a board member for Special Olympics Michigan for the last nine years. He was instrumental in further engaging Statewide Silver Medal Sponsor Amerisure in their support of Special Olympics, by taking the Polar Plunge and challenging members of his staff and company to join him. He also brought his financial knowledge and expertise to the organization during the changing financial times of post-9/11. He is seen as a leader in the Special Olympics Movement.

"It was a beautiful night to celebrate athletes and supporters of Special Olympics Michigan. We were very happy to recognize our well deserving award recipients at the Gala, and we appreciate the participation and support of so many people," said Special Olympics Michigan President and CEO Lois Arnold.

Co-chairs Jack Riley (Sr. Vice President & Marketing Director of Fifth Third Bank) and Matt Simon, (Vice President & Chief Financial Officer of Amerisure Insurance) led the nearly 300 attendees in paying tribute to the Special Olympics Movement and the 19,620 athletes of Special Olympics Michigan.

Congratulations to all the award winners and thank you to the 2012 Inspire Greatness Gala Gold Medal Sponsors Real Estate One, Amerisure, Fifth Third Bank and Detroit Media Partnership. Also, Gala Bronze Medal Sponsors Spartan Stores and Amway.

Special Olympics Michigan looks forward to the 2013 Inspire Greatness Gala. To inquire about sponsorship opportunities for 2013 please contact Erin Dougherty at (989) 774-3911 or dough1ek@cmich.edu.