Hero Spotlight – Cindy Miguel 

Special Olympics Oregon is year-round, providing athletes in 30 local programs with high-quality sports training and authentic competition in 14 sports. It is an immense undertaking, requiring immeasurable cooperative effort.  In today’s social climate, I think that Special Olympics Oregon is one of the rarest, barrier-breaking, inclusive organizations with which to associate. What some groups are just now prioritizing, Special Olympics Oregon has been doing all along. Our population is beautifully diverse in nearly every way possible. I feel like Special Olympics Oregon is the expert proponent in inclusion and equity. I want new supporters to know that every dollar given provides an immeasurable return, empowering athletes, volunteers and all associated with Special Olympics Oregon to be forever changed for the better.  

My support and love for Special Olympics Oregon starts with the athletes.  They are my main priority.  I have had the privilege of seeing athletes achieve goals they never thought possible. I think now more than ever Special Olympics Oregon needs our support – the time, treasure and talent of everyone to ensure that the athletes, who have been isolated and restricted by covid-19, fires, and economic uncertainties are able to stay connected and active. Personally, working for Special Olympics has helped prepare me as a parent. I have a daughter who is an athlete. She has learned social cues, boundaries, acceptance, friendship, sports and many life lessons that otherwise aren’t available. 

My favorite part of fundraising for Special Olympics Oregon is making it fun and keeping it real! I love the fact that many hands make light work.  There are times when I can dig in and raise thousands of dollars and times when I have other priorities and raise less.  When everyone can give and share as they are able it all works together and can be very inspiring.  I have never involved my dog, Tilli, in fundraising for SOOR before this year’s Dog Days of Summer event.  I think that there is a great parallel between training a giant breed puppy and coaching sports. She wants to learn and do well. She is learning to trust. She is a work in progress just like all of us.  She is super cute and reminds us we don’t have to take ourselves so serious all the time. We can be super active and awkward at the same time and that’s OK. 

Join Cindy and Tilli for Dog Days of Summer.  You can run, walk, bike, hike, swim, or paddle your chosen distance, at your own pace, to show your support for the athletes of Special Olympics Oregon.  Register for Dog Days of Summer today!