Special Olympics Moore County Recognizes Cameron, Volunteers
When Patti Cameron stepped up to become the first local coordinator for Special Olympics Moore County in 1988 she found a small, but dedicated group of volunteers and a $127 bank account.
Fast forward to Special Olympics Moore County 2007 and the event has grown to over 120 athletes and more than 150 volunteers for the spring games. A lot of the credit for that growth goes to Cameron, whose work and dedication helped build the Moore County program into one of the best local programs in the state.
Volunteers drive the mission of Special Olympics, "To provide year-round sports training and athletic competition in a variety of Olympic-type sports for children and adults with intellectual disabilities, giving them opportunities to develop physical fitness, demonstrate courage, experience joy and participate in a sharing of gifts, skills and friendship with their families, other Special Olympics athletes and the community."
Part of Cameron's success as a local coordinator was getting talented and dedicated volunteers involved. One such volunteer was Bess Zulch, who has worked with Cameron from the beginning.
Zulch remembers the $127 bank account, and she remembers the time when the organization had to raise money for basic items such as gas for a van to take athletes to state games.
Over the years, Zulch became the accounting expert for the organization and was the driving force behind keeping the group on a sound financial footing.
The local organization grew in scope during Cameron's tenure as coordinator. In addition to the traditional spring track and field events, Special Olympics Moore County now provides training and competition in basketball, bowling, swimming, tennis and golf.
Still active supporters of Special Olympics Moore County, both Cameron and Zulch have stepped back from their long-term positions in the program.
Cameron recently passed the leadership mantle to Robin Sheffield, and is enjoying the opportunity to devote all of her attention to her special education class at Southern Pines Elementary School.
Cameron, Zulch and Stevie Graham, a local Special Olympics athlete, and Moore County's first Special Olympics Global Messenger, were recently honored for their contributions to Special Olympics Moore County.
More like this story