It was a night to remember for the Special Olympics New Jersey community. Each year, the Special Olympics New Jersey (SONJ) Awards Dinner recognizes exemplary members of the SONJ community. Each winner was nominated by their peers for their passion, commitment and achievements within the Special Olympics movement and beyond. More than 150 nominations were submitted this year and n November 16 at the Hyatt Regency Princeton, the deserving community members were recognized for their distinguished contributions.Photos from the Awards Dinner
Below is a list of award recipients and the significance of each award.
Ann Marie Lammerding
Special Olympics New Jersey Hall of Fame
For individuals with at least 10 years of involvement with Special Olympics New Jersey who has advanced the Special Olympics movement in one of the categories of sports and training, fundraising, or public awareness.
Lifetime Achievement Award
For an individual with at least 15 years of involvement with Special Olympics New Jersey who has demonstrated a lifetime of commitment and compassion to the athletes of Special Olympics New Jersey.
Friends of Special Athletes
Outstanding Local Training Program
For the best example of a high quality sports training program for Special Olympics athletes.
Outstanding Volunteer Family
For the family of a Special Olympics athlete that has demonstrated unique and outstanding support of the Special Olympics movement and athletes.
Outstanding Volunteer Coach
For an individual coach in any Special Olympics sport who has demonstrated a high degree of technical skill and personal commitment to preparing athletes for participation in Special Olympics events.
Outstanding Volunteer Official
For exemplary voluntary service by an individual or group of sports official(s) at state competitions and events.
Outstanding Volunteer – State Level
For exemplary voluntary service by an individual to the Special Olympics program at state competitions and events.
Outstanding Volunteer – Area Level
For exemplary voluntary service by an individual to the Special Olympics program at Area competitions and events.
Wakefern Food Corp./Shoprite
Outstanding Volunteer Group
For exemplary voluntary service by a group to the Special Olympics program.
Monroe Township High School
Outstanding Unified School Award
For a school that has demonstrated a superior commitment to inclusion, acceptance, respect and dignity for all by integrating Special Olympics Initiatives into their school programs and culture, and embracing the motto, “Play Unified. Live Unified.”
Area 1 – Miranda Mendoza
Area 2 – Michael Shimabukuro
Area 3 – Faith Blanchard
Area 4 – Steven Brown
Area 5 – Louis Cavana
Area 6 – Aaron Cassidy
Area 7 – Lesley Grossman
Area 8 – Tony Winn
Area 9 – Nadiuska Negron
Area 10 – Jake Hudes
Area 11 – Gabriel Ryba
Area 12 – Crystal DeAngelo
Area 13 – Joey Ori
For Special Olympics New Jersey athletes – one from each of the 13 Areas – who have shown determination and dedication to training and an increased proficiency in any sport at any competition level.
Garth D. Brown
LETR Recognition Award
For an individual who has demonstrated a superior contribution to the Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics New Jersey.
The Bessie Perlman Achievement Award
For an athlete who has demonstrated a dedication to sportsmanship and success in the community.
The S. Michael Higgins Special Olympics Scholarship
For an athlete who has demonstrated dedication to sport through a commitment to training.
SONJ Honor Guard
CBM of America, Inc.
Chez Renee Studio of Dance
For individuals who have advanced the mission of Special Olympics programs through year-round support and innovation.