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The Special Olympics

By Taylor Duffy

SimVentions’ Sue Jones always had a passion for helping the mentally challenged. The Special Olympics has been a very big part of her life, so she wanted to share this part with SimV.

Sue started helping those less fortunate at a very young age. As a teenager, she volunteered with the mentally handicapped and wanted to be a special education teacher. After feeling called to teach elementary education, she needed an outlet to serve those with special needs. This is when she discovered her love for the Special Olympics.

From 1977 to 2000, Sue was heavily involved in the Special Olympics. She served as the area chairperson and coordinator, the treasurer of the 5 counties in the Fredericksburg area, and the participant elector for the international team. She had the opportunity to be involved in the local, state, national, and worldwide levels, and see how much it blessed the participants and their families.

After nearly 25 years of leading in the community, Sue and some of the other Special Olympics vets stepped down to make room for younger volunteers, as there was a growing interest. Once she left the organization she loved so much, she realized she would never be able to give it up completely.

Sue started working at SimV and saw how much of a priority we place on community outreach. She contacted the Special Olympics State Office to see how she and the company could get involved, not knowing this would become so important and special to SimV.

This year will be the 13th year SimV has led the Individual Skills Basketball competition, which consists of dribbling, shooting at baskets, and shooting at a spot on the wall. This competition was created for both the lower functioning and those that never played basketball before.

The event takes place this year at Gayle middle school in Stafford on March 1st and 2nd. The participants are treated to a banquet and opening ceremony on the 1st and the events take place on the 2nd. We cannot wait for another year of Special Olympics and we are so thankful Sue shared this gift with us, as many of our other employees have done with the organizations that make them passionate.