About Us

Special Olympics Oklahoma History

Special Olympics was founded by Eunice Kennedy Shriver. The first International Special Olympics Games were held in 1968 at Soldier Field in Chicago. There are programs in all 50 states and more than 4.4 million athletes in 226 Accredited Special Olympics Programs across more than 170 countries worldwide with 7 regional offices around the world, located in Africa, Asia Pacific, East Asia, Europe-Eurasia, Latin America, Middle East-North Africa and North America. Special Olympics, Inc. is a non-profit international organization located in Washington, DC.

Oklahoma’s first Special Olympics event was an athletics competition at the University of Tulsa in 1969. In 1972, Special Olympics Oklahoma was incorporated as a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization and is governed by a state-wide Board of Directors. Special Olympics Oklahoma is authorized and accredited by Special Olympics, Inc., for the benefit of citizens with intellectual disabilities. Today, Special Olympics Oklahoma benefits 12,100 athletes and is supported by over 13,000 volunteer coaches and thousands of sponsors, donors and volunteers conducting more than 175 sports competitions and training clinics every year.

Mission Statement

The mission of Special Olympics is to provide year-round sports training and athletic competition in a variety of Olympic-type sports for children and adults with intellectual disabilities, giving them continuing opportunities to develop physical fitness, demonstrate courage, experience joy and participate in a sharing of gifts, skills and friendship with their families, other Special Olympics athletes and the community.

The Goal

The goal of Special Olympics is for all persons with intellectual disabilities to have the opportunity to become useful and productive citizens who are accepted and respected by their families, friends and in their communities.

Benefits

Athletes carry the benefits from their involvement in Special Olympics with them in their daily lives at home, in the classroom, on the job and in the community. Families are strengthened and the community increases its understanding, acceptance and respect of these individuals.

Our Staff

President & CEO:
Adrian DeWendt

V.P. of Development & Marketing:
Derek Cain

Sports and Training Manager:
Brittany Dionne

Outreach Manager:
Kathryn Francis

V.P. of Programs:
Teri Hockett

Development Director:
Harlan Guthrie

Marketing and Communications Manager:
Paige Martin

Finance Manager:
Nguyen Nguyen

V.P. of Sports and Training:
John Seals

Program Data Manager:
Sue Shelton

Volunteer Manager:
Josie Stephens

Special Events Coordinator:
Kylie Vanderslice

Board of Directors

Executive Board

Scott Moore, Chairman

Mark Wilmoth, Vice Chairman

Biff Horrocks, Immediate Past Chairman

Jennifer Annis, Secretary

Stephen R. Bolden, Development Representative

Jim Scott, Program Representative

Dr. Travis Burkett, Development Representative 

Adrian DeWendt, Ex Officio

General Board

Randy Braucher

Nick Crouch

Jim Fisher

Justin Green

James Holder, Athlete

Ashley Hurney

Mike Klehm

Brian Matula

Linda McKown

William W. O’Connor

Nicholas Paynter

Brad Priest

Larry Reece

David Seabolt

Financials

We take our mission very seriously and Special Olympics Oklahoma is proud to be able to return 88.5% of every dollar back to program services.