2018 Dennis Schmidt Impact Award

Since 2004, the President & CEO of Special Olympics Indiana has had the honor each year of naming one individual who exemplifies the “Spirit of Special Olympics” but who oftentimes goes unnoticed, someone who places the athletes above him or herself and who helps us to grow and improve our great program. Brian Glick, from Tippecanoe County, has dedicated his entire life to furthering the Special Olympics movement through Athlete Leadership.

Spirit of Special Olympics Indiana: 2018 ‘Michael Furnish’ Athlete of the Year

Named in honor of the former Special Olympics Indiana President & CEO, the ‘Michael Furnish’ Athlete of the Year Award recognizes the accomplishments, both on and off the playing field, of an athlete who embodies the Spirit of Special Olympics through hard work, determination, and a positive attitude. Katie Baumgartle, a Team Indiana swimmer who earned two silver medals at the 2018 Special Olympics USA Games, has earned that distinction for her many achievements as an athlete, a fundraiser, and a student.

Spirit of Special Olympics Indiana: 2018 Family of the Year

For Missee and Joe Foster, Special Olympics has been a way of life for nearly 25 years. Since 1994—when the Fosters attended their first Indiana Summer Games to cheer on Missee’s brother, Sam—the family of five has logged more than 120 combined years of experience as athletes, coaches, unified partners, and volunteers.

Spirit of Special Olympics Indiana: 2018 Volunteer of the Year

Over the course of the past 28 years, Steve Bingelli, Sr. has been at the heart and soul of the Special Olympics movement in Clark County, often logging as many as 40 hours per week while serving in roles ranging from coach to chaperone to Area Competition Director to County Coordinator.

Spirit of Special Olympics Indiana: 2018 LETR Officer of the Year

Nicknamed “Big Dog,” Sheriff Michael Nielsen is a larger than life role model and friend to the athletes of our Boone County program. His genuine enthusiasm shines through in his every interaction with the athletes and their families, and his sincere encouragement and support have made a lasting impression in the lives of the people we serve.

Spirit of Special Olympics Indiana: 2018 Coach of the Year

A longtime Class A volunteer in Special Olympics Indiana’s Washington Township program, Craig Peterson is a member of the County Management Team and a parent to athletes Andrew and Michael, but he is a coach and supporter to all who participate in the local track and field, distance run/walk, and basketball programs.