Mackenzie Beauvais-Nikl has been a Special Olympics Colorado Athlete for the past ten years and competes in soccer, basketball, snowboarding, track, tennis, softball, and volleyball. She also was a member of the Colorado Rapids Unified Team for three years and was chosen to represent Colorado on the Special Olympics USA All-Star Basketball Team in Louisiana in 2014. Not only is Mackenzie an incredible athlete, she is a Special Olympics Colorado Board Member, a member of our Athlete Leadership Program, and most recently chosen as a Fitness Captain.
Mackenzie is a full-time student at Metro State University and works with kids at the Denver Parks and Recreation Summer Camp. She also trains dogs at the Dumb Friends League. She loves photography and has even shown her pieces at the Denver Art Museum. Mackenzie says, “I want to be a great leader and role model for my fellow athletes and friends. I want to help expand unified sports which will create more opportunities for other athletes in the state.” Congratulations Mackenzie on being named the November Female Athlete of the Month!
Chaz is 21 years old and a student at Metropolitan State University in the Inclusive Higher Education Certificate Program. He has been involved with Special Olympics Colorado for last 13 years and competes in volleyball, basketball, softball, swimming, bocce, golf and tennis, and is also a member of the SOCO Youth Activation Committee. Chaz has been able to build his confidence and make many new friends because of his unified partners, teammates and coaches. In July, Chaz competed in tennis at the Special Olympics USA Games in Seattle, Washington and won a gold medal in doubles! Congratulations Chaz on being named the November Male Athlete of the Month!
Riley Scott is the Head Coach for the Valor Christian High School Unified Basketball and Volleyball Teams, and has been a SOCO coach and volunteer for that past 6 years. He is a math teacher at Valor Christian and has been able to get incredible support from the unified partner students. He is also great at teaching skills at practices. Riley says, “Working with our athletes brings me great joy and encouragement. The effort they put forth and the excitement they have is encouraging and motivating. Our practices are about having a good time and laughing. Exercising is the result!” Congratulations Riley on being the named the November Coach of the Month!
Greg and Jenny Leonard, and their daughters Amanda, Samantha, and Alex, have been involved with Special Olympics Colorado for the past 24 years! Greg is a member of the Special Olympics Colorado Board of Directors and is the General Manager at the Hyatt Regency Denver. He has graciously allowed SOCO to host some of our largest fundraising events at the hotel. Greg and Jenny are involved with just about every SOCO fundraising event throughout the year.
Not only does Greg have time to support our fundraising efforts, Greg coaches Alpine Skiing and runs the Cherry Creek Aquatics program every Sunday which has more than 300 athletes practicing and competing year-round.
In 2014, SOCO Athlete Amanda Leonard was the Special Olympics Colorado Female Athlete of the Year. An accomplished, multi-sport athlete, Amanda’s favorite sports are alpine skiing, volleyball, track and field, cycling and swimming. In 2010, Amanda represented SOCO at the 2010 Special Olympics USA Games, earning one gold, two silvers and one bronze medal.
Amanda is a member of the Special Olympics Colorado Young Professionals Board and also is a member of the SOCO staff where she writes hundreds of thank you letters to our donors. Amanda said, “Special Olympics has given me the chance to make friends with a lot of great athletes from across the state.”
The Leonard family is outstanding in their support of SOCO and can be found in every facet from volunteering, coaching, fundraising, and cheering on Amanda and all of our athletes. If there is a role to be filled, they will fill it and we are so thankful for their ongoing support. Congratulations to the Leonard family on being named the November Family of the Month.
Special Olympics Colorado has been extremely fortunate to have the dedication and talent of videographer and recent Rock Canyon High School graduate, Megan Baer. Megan has spent the last year with us capturing the amazing moments of our athletes at state and regional competitions.
At the age of 18, Megan has an incredible eye for capturing the stories of acceptance and inclusion of our athletes. She received a scholarship to attend Florida State University in their Motion Picture Arts Program. She was also just named the Women’s Basketball Team video intern!
Megan has produced and edited countless videos for Special Olympics Colorado. Her most recent work was viewed by more than 1,200 community and business leaders at the 2018 SOCO Hall of Fame.
Thank you Megan for sharing your amazing talent with our athletes, coaches, volunteers, and the entire SOCO community. Congratulations Megan on being named the November Volunteer of the Month!
Congratulations to Kroenke Sports Charities for being recognized as Special Olympics Colorado’s Partner of the Month!
Kroenke Sports Charities has been involved for nearly 20 years. During this time, they have partnered with SOCO in more ways than we can count. Each year they support the Rapids Unified Team, a team comprised of Rapids players as well as Special Olympics Athletes and Unified partners. They also host several clinics including an Avalanche Clinic and the all-team Denver Nuggets Clinic.
They have also hosted a Kroenke Sports Day during our Young Athletes Camp, where the 75+ campers have the opportunity to learn about lacrosse, hockey, soccer and basketball.
Through their financial support (that totals more than $225,000!), Kroenke Sports has helped SOCO expand the Unified Champion Schools program throughout Denver Public Schools.
In addition to what they give our athletes via camps, clinics and financial support, KSE team members also support SOCO by serving as volunteers and event participants. Specifically, SOCO would like to thank Deb Dowling, Vice President Community Relations and Fan Development and Nicole Kramer, Community Relations Senior Coordinator, and also the Vice Chair of SOCO’s Young Professionals Board.
Thank you Kroenke Sports Charities, for all of your generous support!