January 2024 Change Makers

January 2024 Change Makers

Morgan Dunnuck

Athlete of the Month

Morgan Dunnuck has been a Special Olympics Colorado athlete since 2019. She initially got involved because her brother is also an athlete. Now, she competes in basketball and bocce, with basketball being her favorite. She also helps out with the Pikes Peak Wolves soccer and flag football teams.

Morgan loves helping her teammates and her mom, Nicole, describes her as a team leader. Since getting involved with Special Olympics Colorado, Nicole said that Morgan is now more open to new things and more social with other athletes.

Morgan’s coach, Karen Egan, agrees that Morgan is a leader on her team and describes heras an incredible team player with a huge heart. “She plays to insure her other teammates, have the opportunity for their best game,” said Karen. “She stretches their abilities, and is the ultimate protector, always seeking to help those who perhaps may be overlooked.”

Karen also mentioned that Morgan has expressed interest in being a coach one day and has no doubt that she will excel in whatever she chooses to do.

Congratulations on being recognized as the January Athlete of the Month, Morgan!


The Bruens Family

Family of the Month

The Bruens Family originally got involved with Special Olympics Colorado in 2014 when Lucy, the oldest, was a Young Athlete. The family attended the regional track meet on the Western Slope and immediately fell in love.

Eventually, JeMarque (JJ) and Davey wanted to become Unified partners, and Mo and Melisa began coaching their swim team. Soon, all of the Bruens kids were participating in several sports throughout the year. “The more involved we became, the more members of our family found ways to be involved,” said Melisa. “The impact of Special Olympics on our life has been incredible.”

One of their favorite Special Olympics Colorado events is State Summer Games. “Our family plans that whole month around it,” Melisa said. “Getting to be a part of them will be something they take with them for life.”

Melisa explained that Special Olympics Colorado has given each of her kids something their soul needed. “For JJ, it was the sense that his presence on Earth can make a difference. For Davey it is a place where he can be a leader and looked up to. For Lucyann, she feels as accomplished as neurotypical kids. For Ellie, she feels completely accepted and confident in herself. For Mattie Lee, she gets to be as big as big kids,” described Melisa. “All of them have overcome some major fears and gained a ton of confidence because of SOCO. Their coaches have been so much more than the sports the play, they have been friends, role models, and inspirations.”

We are thrilled to recognize the Bruens family as the January Family of the Month. Congratulations!

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