July 2021 Change Makers
Athlete of the Month
Carlee Mark has been competing for Special Olympics Colorado (SOCO) since 2017, when she was 8 years old. She has competed in swimming, athletics and gymnastics.
Carlee’s swim coach, Diane Hlavacek, explained that when she started on the swim team, she was a shy 8-year-old doing lead-up events. The following year, Carlee moved up to traditional events and now, Diane says that Carlee is asking to learn new skills and strokes at practice. “Through Special Olympics, I have watched Carlee come out of her shell, become more outgoing, confident and enjoy teasing me,” said Diane.
Northeast Regional Manager, Elizabeth Aslin, said she had the opportunity to watch Carlee swim with her teammates at Loveland Aquatics’ inter-squad competition back in May 2021. “Her coach, Diane, and grandfather, Greg, were so proud of Carlee and her growth – not only growth in her swimming skills but also with her overall confidence and independence – and it was heartwarming to hear the pride in both of their voices while they spoke about Carlee,” Elizabeth said.
When she’s not competing for Special Olympics Colorado, Carlee is on the swim and track team at Conrad Ball Middle School and does riding lessons at Hearts and Horses Therapeutic Riding Center.
My Goods Market
Community Partner of the Month
My Goods Market has been a longstanding Annual Partner of Special Olympics Colorado for over 11 years. They have 56 stores across the Front Range where they generously host a Giveback Campaign twice a year. Employees offer SOCO Medallions to guests in exchange for a donation or round up from their purchase. When you visit a store during the campaign, you can see hundreds of medallions lining the wall showcasing all of the community support for Special Olympic Colorado athletes. In May, their team of passionate and dedicated employees raised over $23,000 for Special Olympics Colorado, which their corporate headquarters in California matched for a total of $46,000! We are so grateful for this amazing partnership that has impacted so many lives over the years!