A Place in Her Heart
Officer Tracy Grady first got involved with Special Olympics through the Law Enforcement Torch Run with her fellow officers. Before long she was attending events, volunteering and raising funds for the organization. But she wanted to do more.
Hooked on Special Olympics
Tracy had been familiar with Special Olympics from a young age. "I was fortunate to watch Special Olympics develop throughout my life. I have always had a place in my heart for those with special needs and feel they are the most deserving." But it wasn't until she got involved in the Torch Run that she started to participate in Special Olympics events.
Law enforcement officers have a long history of supporting Special Olympics. The Law Enforcement Torch Run is a signature running event where officers carry the Flame of Hope to the opening ceremonies of the local, state, national and global Special Olympics events. Tracy participated in her first Torch Run back in 2008.
After the Torch Run, Tracy was encouraged to attend other Special Olympics events through her local Program and soon found herself volunteering as a basketball coach. She was hooked.
Tracy began to see first-hand the benefits of participation in Special Olympics programs. In her words, "Special Olympics empowers athletes to be more social and helps them become more comfortable with their abilities. By seeing their acceptance within society, Special Olympics athletes gain a new understanding of themselves."
Little did Tracy know that shortly after she started volunteering for her local Special Olympics Program, her own niece would be diagnosed with an intellectual disability. Tracy says she thinks Special Olympics would be a wonderful help to her niece: "It would help her gain self-confidence. She has always struggled to integrate into society, and I believe that participating in Special Olympics would allow her to do so, and in a more meaningful way."
Legacy of Acceptance
Through her years of participation and personal connection, Tracy decided to include Special Olympics in her will. "I want my estate to contribute to the welfare of improving people's lives, so that they can experience the joy of receiving a medal, the camaraderie of team sports, and get needed health care. If I achieve that, then I have left an indelible mark on society."
Like Tracy, you too can make a powerful, lasting impact on future generations of athletes that costs nothing during your lifetime. Anyone can give a gift through their will, and when you include Special Olympics in your estate plan, you create a legacy of acceptance, inclusion and hope for all people with intellectual disabilities far into the future.
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