InterWorks Causes: Special Olympics Oklahoma


InterWorks Causes: Special Olympics Oklahoma

As I’ve touched on in prior posts, being involved with important causes in our local communities is one of the things that makes InterWorks a special place to work for. There are plenty of company-organized opportunities lined up throughout the year, giving each person a chance to participate as time allows. I am especially passionate about certain groups, and I’m supported in sourcing my own events to attend as well. 

As a former Oklahoma State University alumnus, I am familiar with many of the non-profit groups that are staples to the city of Stillwater, Oklahoma, such as Special Olympics Oklahoma. Their 2024 Summer Games marks the 39th time that OSU has hosted this meaningful event. In fact, the Summer Games anticipated 4,600 athletes this year, making it the largest Special Olympics Summer Games held in the country. 

With such a large number of registrants expected in Stillwater over a three day span, there are lots of notifications that get generated through InterWorks internal email and social channels asking for volunteers. In fact, signing up to participate might have been the easiest decision I made all year. Some of the planned events included golf, powerlifting and cornhole. All told, though, my favorite is always the track and field competition.   

The Summer Games were held May 15 – 17. This year’s Summer Games marked the 55th anniversary of the annual event in Oklahoma. As Oklahomans know, the weather may not always play nice. This year was no exception, as storms caused some outdoor events to get canceled or rescheduled to different days. That didn’t damper anyone’s spirits though. For me, at least, it meant double the events and double the fun for the day I volunteered.  

Watching the focus and preparation from the athletes as I led many of them to their starting lines was so inspirational. There’s a sense of celebration and togetherness that can’t be put into words. As the flags were dropped, and runners made their way around the track, the clapping was thunderous and a majority of the spectators who were able stood proudly cheering on all of the competitors.  

Once each race concluded, athletes were met with high fives from volunteers and escorted to an awards tent. Here, competitors had their pictures taken on a red carpet and medals were handed out. Coaches and families of the athletes got to watch as runners were encouraged and celebrated for their efforts. Of course, the first-place finishers were all smiles, but everyone walked away a winner from there. 

I’m always thankful that InterWorks supports our individual efforts to volunteer, both by having organized days set aside for InterWorkers to volunteer, as well as providing us with a bunch of hours off each year we can specifically use for our own volunteering needs.

If you would like to get involved with Special Olympics Oklahoma, either through a generous donation or as a volunteer for one of the local or state events, head on over to their website and check out the remaining slate of games and fundraisers planned for the year. It might just be the easiest decision you make all year, too.

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