Volunteer Spotlight: Ann Beringer
Long Time SOOR Clackamas Volunteer, Ann Beringer, Says Good-bye
Ann Beringer has been a member of the SOOR family for two decades. She recently resigned from her volunteer role because she’s moving to Washington. It’s hard to say good-bye to family – but we do it with love, respect and kindness for all you’ve done for us!
Ann became part of the SOOR family in 1997 as the Sports Manager for the Clackamas County local program. It was a paid position and she was so happy to go to work every day and be involved with sports! Within a few years, the SOOR structure evolved to all volunteer local program management teams. The team still needed Ann and in a decision that shows commitment and compassion, she re-joined the group and volunteered as the Sports Manager and coach for 20 years. Ann loves her Clackamas group and it’s hard to leave!
Ann said, “The Local Program Management Team worked so well together. The duties were divided up among all the volunteers so everyone could have a role and help out. We got to focus on the areas that we like the best. It made for a nice big team with everyone working together.”
Volunteering is an important aspect of Ann’s life. She gained so much from the relationships with the athletes and the other volunteers. Ann says, “the SOOR family members are people of like mindedness. They have integrity, genuineness and a desire to help. They’re not expecting to get something back. It’s just a desire to be involved for nothing – because you enjoy it … because you enjoy each other. That’s why it works!”
When talking about the benefits for athletes, Ann not only focuses on the sports benefits but also the importance of building confidence, forming relationships and the social aspects. In addition to sports training and competitions, opportunities like global messenger give the athletes an opportunity to grow in a different way and represent an organization that is about them. She feels the inclusiveness with disabled and nondisabled individuals together opens doors.
Ann’s favorite sport to coach was cross country skiing. She just loved the group of athletes and volunteers that participated. This group even started a hiking group outside of SOOR – walking together on Sunday mornings. Another favorite was the bicycling group that they formed – the Speedy Sprockets. This was a group of avid bikers – athletes and volunteers – that got together for this club sport. The group bicycled weekly and camped every year at Fort Stevens. The SOOR Clackamas family was always looking for ways to gather, exercise, be social and have fun together in healthy ways!
When asked what her favorite thing is about SOOR, Ann says, “what kept me going all these years is the people! The sheer quality and big hearts of everyone – athletes and volunteers – is amazing! I’ve met so many awesome people! And of course – the sports! Being a sports person and being able to volunteer in the sports field is phenomenal.”
In closing, Ann shared this advice, “Never quit! Always keep trying. Get up, dust yourself off and keep going.” And because she loves skiing, she added this wisdom, “more cowbell”. And as she closes this important chapter in her life she says, “All of it was great! It’s a great organization!”