Members of the Special Olympics North Carolina (SONC) Athlete Council met in January to elect officers, according to SONC President/CEO Keith L. Fishburne.
Jacob Huffman of Gaston County will be serving as the council’s chair. Will Gandy of Iredell County was elected to serve as vice chair. Paige Soderman of Buncombe County was elected to serve as secretary. Dean Hall of Durham County was elected to serve as sergeant at arms. Natalie Robins of New Hanover County will serve as immediate past chair.
In 2023, the SONC Athlete Council is comprised of 14 registered Special Olympics athletes from across North Carolina. Athlete Council members serve two-year terms. Their role is to provide advice and guidance to the SONC president/CEO on topics related to Special Olympics. Council members will meet quarterly and will attend state-level SONC events to volunteer.
Council members will also explore and participate in a variety of leadership roles at SONC competitions and fundraisers. Council members will participate in fundraising events, including Over The Edge, Plane Pull® and a variety of Polar Plunges®. They will also serve as emcees during event opening ceremonies, present awards and attend planned leadership conferences.
Members of the SONC Athlete Council include:
Jacob Huffman, Gaston County (Chair)
Will Gandy, Iredell County (Vice Chair)
Dean Hall, Durham County (Sergeant at Arms)
Paige Soderman, Buncombe County (Secretary)
Natalie Robins, New Hanover County (Immediate Past Chair)
Annie Tane, Orange County
Reece Williams, Lake Norman
Romas Gabbrielli, Wake County
Brian Bennett, Cumberland County
Harry Martz, Mecklenburg County
Donovan Mouton, Onslow County
Rolando Mora, Mecklenburg County
Brad Rice, Forsyth County
Kelli Hutson, Durham County
About Special Olympics North Carolina
Since 1968, the organization has used the transformative power of sports to improve the lives of children and adults with intellectual disabilities. Nearly 40,000 athletes in North Carolina inspire thousands of coaches, sports officials, local program committee members and event organizers involved in Special Olympics statewide. SONC offers year-round training and competition in 20 Olympic-type 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 Unified Champion 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. Engage with us on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and YouTube.