December 2019 Winners

Charity Cannon
Female Athlete of the Month

Charity has been a Special Olympics Colorado athlete for 16 years! She’s competed in gymnastics, volleyball and figure skating, but gymnastics is her favorite.

Her favorite memory as a Special Olympics athlete was when she won her first gold medals at the Gymnastics State Games.

Charity says, “SOCO has brought out my true confidence. I’m able to articulate myself better now that I’ve taken the communication course at ALU.”

Charity is an Athlete Leader who is enrolled in ALU (Athlete Leadership University). She also serves on the Athlete Input Council, a forum for athletes to report to other athletes and SOCO’s staff and board about what is happening in their areas, voice their opinions about important issues, and gain leadership training and experience.

Congratulations, Charity on being the Female Athlete of the Month!



Jason Horton
Male Athlete of the Month

Jason has been competing for Special Olympics Colorado for 12 years and plays basketball, soccer and flag football. He has also played on the Colorado Rapids Unified Soccer team in the past!

Jason’s favorite memory with Special Olympics was competing in softball at the State Fall Games in Georgia. He fondly remembers a night game where his team was down by one run in the last inning. Jason was up to bat and had a fantastic hit that led to his team winning the game and receiving a gold medal!

When he’s not swinging the bat and scoring runs, Jason enjoys hanging out with his family and friends. “I love to go out and enjoy life, nature, the mountains of Colorado, and explore the world,” says Jason.
Jason has received an ESPY award for his courage and said it was very exciting time in his life and it meant so much. He is also involved in ALU (Athlete Leadership University). “I love being part of this program.” Jason took a communications course and learned about leadership, what it looks like to represent SOCO and set an example for other athletes. He also learned how to write and present a speech for public speaking.
Jason is currently battling cancer for the 5th time. He says he stays positive because he is surrounded by so much support. “I won’t give up,” says Jason.

Congratulations, Jason, on being recognized as December’s Male Athlete of the Month!



Teri Koren
Coach of the Month

For over 10 years, Teri has been coaching the Rocky Mountain Team for Special Olympics Colorado. She coaches 7 sports, including basketball, tennis, softball and flag football.

Teri explains that she’s had so many great memories with Special Olympics that it’s hard to pick just one. “All of my memories with each and every athlete have been special and stay with me always,” says Teri. “I especially enjoy watching competitions and seeing the heart, determination and dedication to the team and coaches and what they have learned. They don’t give up and come out with personal successes.”

Teri truly enjoys organizing and setting up sports for athletes that provide opportunities for them to participate and grow. She also loves watching her teams’ confidence, sportsmanship and friendship continue to improve year after year.

Congratulations, Teri, on being December’s Coach of the Month!



The Rice Family
Family of the Month

Stan and Michelle, along with their sons, Colton and Mason, have been a valuable part of Special Olympics Colorado for almost 10 years!

Colton has competed as a Special Olympics Colorado athlete for 9 years. He started with track and is in Unified Sports at Brighton High School (BHS). He enjoys powerlifting on the Boulder Gun Show team and playing defense for the Unified Colorado Rapids soccer team. Colton also participates in the Athlete Leadership Council and has recently joined the coaching squad at BHS.

Colton’s brother, Mason, is following in his brother’s footsteps by playing flag football, basketball, and soccer with Brighton High School’s Unified program. He is currently a junior at Prairie View High School. Both Mason and Colton are a force to be reckoned with on the Youth Activation Committee!

Their mother, Michelle volunteers with the Brighton High School Unified program, various committees within SOCO, and has recently joined the Games Organizing Committee. Stan is an amazing support to Michelle and the boys; perhaps their biggest champion!

Congratulations to the Rice Family on being recognized as the December Family of the Month!


Kendall Hagar
Volunteers of the Month

Kendall started volunteering for Special Olympics Colorado in 2007. She first got involved with the Cherry Creek Aquatics Team because a family friend was on the team and it seemed like it would be a fun way for them to spend time together.

Kendall has made some of her closest friends through Special Olympics and she feels a deep sense of responsibility to give back to this community that has given her so much. “I believe in the mission of Special Olympics and consider it a privilege to support the efforts of such an important organization,” says Kendall.

Thank you, Kendall, for all you’ve done for Special Olympics Colorado over the years. Congratulations on being December’s Volunteer of the Month!


Daniels Fund
Community Partner of the Month

Daniels Fund supports amateur sports, focusing on youth having the ability to access affordable, community-based sports activities led by coaches who are trained to build a positive culture that promotes teamwork, sportsmanship, discipline and confidence. It is through this vision that Daniels Fund and Special Olympics Colorado have created such a successful partnership, receiving more than $800,000 for our athletes since 2008! Their generous support allows SOCO to serve more than 9,000 amazing athletes with intellectual disabilities each year.

Thank you, Daniels Fund, for supporting our athletes and congratulations on being recognized as our December Community Partner of the Month!