Anna Whitted has been a Game Changer for the past two years, volunteering at numerous tournaments and fundraising events and being a true ambassador for the Special Olympics movement. Her first event was Tournament of Champions, newly relocated to the greater Marlborough area back in 2016.
"I love to serve and support my community, so I researched how to get involved with Special Olympics," she said. "After my first experience volunteering with the athletes, staff, Unified partners, and other volunteers, there was no other decision: Make Special Olympics a permanent volunteer opportunity and invite others to join me!"
Since the very first annual Tournament of Champions, Anna has continued to volunteer every year since, and has been a dedicated volunteer. "I love seeing the athletes, volunteers, and referees who have been around for a long time to reunite - it's magical! Announcing the softball games is the best!"
Anna has not only kept her commitment to continue to volunteer, but also to invite others to get involved. Wherever she goes, she shares the mission of Special Olympics.
"I'm hoping to get my town to host a place for a team to practice, or to get involved in a Polar Plunge fundraising event," she said.
And why does she love Special Olympics so much?
"It's because of the athletes - I want everyone to know how amazing their skills are. I'm truly blown away by the athletes - their athleticism, their accomplishments," she said. "They're true sport professionals! I'm like 'where are the recruiters for the pros, cause here are your athletes!"
As we celebrate the 50th anniversary of Special Olympics, we look ahead to how we can reach more athletes and build more inclusive communities in the next 50 years. With Anna on the Special Olympics team, she's making her impact as a Game Changer and getting more involved.
"I love everything I've been a part of and my goal is to continue to be a part of the events I've done thus far and add at least one more event each year and bring others along," she said. "And someday I hope to become a Unified partner! Because of the amazing athletes, I'm now considering changing careers. I'm so grateful to Special Olympics Massachusetts for allowing volunteers like myself to participate. It's truly my honor and as long as you'll have me, I'll keep returning (with friends!) and adding more events! Sincere thanks for the opportunity to serve!"
Join Anna and volunteer for Special Olympics Massachusetts!