2017 Spirit of Special Olympics Family of the Year
Special Olympics Indiana is pleased to announce that The Hanna Family, from Indianapolis, is our 2017 Spirit of Special Olympics Family of the Year.
Special Olympics athlete Lindsay “Lin” Hanna, her brother James, and her parents, Art and Sue, have been involved with our Washington Township program since 1997, when Lin and Art began competing in golf as unified partners. In the 20 years since, the Hannas have been a steady presence in their local program and have made their mark on all whose paths they’ve crossed.
Lin has excelled at several sports over the years, competing in basketball, bocce, bowling, distance run/walk, golf, soccer, skiing, and swimming. She has participated five times in the Special Olympics USA National Unified Bowling Tournament, and particularly enjoyed the years in which her father was her unified partner. When she’s not competing, Lin is known within her program to be every athlete’s biggest fan.
James and Art have each been involved at various times as volunteers and unified partners, competing alongside Lin in bowling and golf. And in spite of some significant health problems requiring a complicated heart surgery, Art has returned to serve for many years as an assistant coach for the Washington Township bowling team.
And Sue Hanna has perhaps been most active of all. Since 2002, she has served on the management team for the Washington Township program, where she has helped to organize and chaperone the program’s delegation each year for Special Olympics Indiana’s Summer Games in Terre Haute; and has coordinated the program’s annual sports banquets and New Year’s Eve parties — each attended by more than 120 athletes, partners, coaches, and family members.
She has also regularly gone above and beyond as a volunteer, managing for the last 10 years what she calls “the WTSO Storage Facility” — an organized collection of apparel, equipment, and event supplies stored in the Hanna family’s basement — and ensuring that all new athletes, partners, and parents receive the proper shirt for each event. She has also designed the brochures used by Washington Township for the last dozen years, and since 2010 has served as editor of the program’s newsletter, describing it as one of her greatest joys.
For two decades, the Hanna family has set a shining example for others in their community. And by their commitment to the cause, they have demonstrated at every turn the true Spirit of Special Olympics.