Ten athletes trained as ambassadors at 2017 Special Olympics North Carolina Global Messenger Training

Ten Special Olympics athletes from across North Carolina became official spokespersons for the organization after they participated in the annual Global Messenger Training Program August 18-19 at the Special Olympics North Carolina headquarters in Morrisville, according to SONC President Keith L. Fishburne.

The Global Messenger program is one of several athlete leadership programs offered by Special Olympics through which athletes have the opportunity to demonstrate leadership skills outside of sports. In the 2-day training, athletes learn facts about Special Olympics and how to make an effective presentation. As part of the training, athletes created their first speech and presented it to the class.

As Global Messengers, Special Olympics athletes recruit other athletes and volunteers, and give public education presentations that allow them to share the personal impact Special Olympics has had in their lives. Trainers for program included:  SONC Vice President of Communications Rachel McQuiston of Apex, SONC Manager of Communications & Social Media Katie McGhee of Raleigh, SONC Athletes Romas Gabbrielli of Wake Forest and Kristine Hughes of Cary, Perry Flynn, a UNCG speech pathologist, of Greensboro, and Sherry Paul, a longtime SONC volunteer, of Winston-Salem.

Athletes were nominated by their community Special Olympics North Carolina local program coordinators. Global Messengers are available to make presentations about Special Olympics in communities across the state. To schedule a speaker, contact Rachel McQuiston at 919.719.7662 ext. 110 or visit  for a listing of Global Messengers throughout the state.

The following athletes are new Global Messengers for Special Olympics North Carolina.

Global Messenger                                                     Speech Coach/Mentor
Mark Allen 
of Wilmington                                         Natalie Robins of Wilmington
Matthew Farfaglia of Sanford                                  Candace Confair of Sanford
Ian Lerch of Leland                                                   Tiffany Lesley of Wilmington
Bryan Evans of Greensboro                                       Charyl Clark of Greensboro
Samuel McAllister of Archdale                                 Jeff Caudill of High Point
Kelli Hutson of Durham                                             Catherine Hart of Durham
Randy Killian of Conover                                          Brian “Austin” Cook of Hickory
Stephanie Wilkerson of Thomasville                        Lori Wilkerson of Thomasville
Justin Walker of Conover                                          Tara Walker of Conover
Brogan DeBuhr of Raleigh                                        Dana DeBuhr of Raleigh

A photo of the Global Messengers is attached. Individual photos are available upon request, please contact Rachel McQuiston.

 About Special Olympics North Carolina
Special Olympics North Carolina offers year-round sports training and competition for nearly 40,000 children and adults with intellectual disabilities. These athletes inspire greatness through their success and provide motivation to the thousands of coaches, sports officials, local program committee members and event organizers involved in Special Olympics statewide.  SONC offers Olympic-type competition in 19 sports on local and state levels as well as health and wellness initiatives to improve the health status and increase access to community health resources for individuals with intellectual disabilities. Youth become agents of change through the Unified Strategy for Schools, an education and sports based program created by Special Olympics to build an inclusive environment among youth with and without intellectual disabilities as well as empower them to become youth leaders and create change in their community. Visit Special Olympics North Carolina at Engage with us on ;  and


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