Spirit of Special Olympics Awards 2019: Volunteer of the Year
The Indiana Spirit of Special Olympics Awards are presented annually at our State Conference, recognizing the athletes, coaches, volunteers, families, and LETR officers who have gone above and beyond in their contributions and commitment to the Special Olympics movement over the course of the past year or more. Nominations for each category are submitted by our Area Management Teams before Area winners are selected, and from that list, Special Olympics Indiana’s Board of Directors chooses the state award winners each year.
Special Olympics Indiana is pleased to announce that Lynne Noble, from Tippecanoe County, is our 2019 Spirit of Special Olympics Volunteer of the Year!
Lynne has always had a heart for people with disabilities, and she’s been a part of the Special Olympics movement for a total of 37 years — filling a variety of volunteer roles in Tennessee before relocating to Indiana 11 years ago and wasting no time in seeking out opportunities to help. She is an incredible supporter of our programs at the local, area, state, and global levels, and is a tireless advocate for our athletes.
Lynne volunteers an average of 10 hours per week with our Tippecanoe County program, serving as the group’s Unified Fitness Club Coordinator and dedicating her time to organizing and leading twice-weekly meetings focused on improving athletes’ overall health and fitness. Her passion and creativity in finding fun and exciting ways to exercise have helped to grow this club from 12 to more than 30 athletes and partners, many of whom are now regularly participating in 5K walk/run events.
She is also a volunteer golf coach and Unified partner — using her connections at a local golf club to help the county program find opportunities to practice and to develop their skills — and has attended the Special Olympics USA Games as a member of Team Indiana. She is among our athletes’ biggest fans, and it’s not unusual to see her cheering on the competitors during basketball games or bowling tournaments.
In addition to her contributions to the local program, Lynne serves on the Special Olympics Indiana Board of Directors, lending her wisdom and experience to issues of governance and helping to lead the overall direction of the organization. She is also a key volunteer at state-level events including Summer Games and the annual Plane Pull Challenge, where she contributes many more volunteer hours each year.
But her greatest contributions of time and energy come during the winter season, when she works as many as 20 hours per day as Chair of the Purdue University Polar Plunge. Through Lynne’s sheer effort, determination, and willpower, the Purdue Plunge has been our top campus plunge for 10 years running, bringing in as much as $100,000 annually to support Special Olympics Indiana’s year-round programs and events. And in addition to raising thousands of dollars as a Super Plunger, Lynne spends her time developing sponsorships, cultivating volunteer groups, securing auction items, and making countless valuable connections, both on campus and off.
Lynne is as committed to making a difference in the lives of people with intellectual disabilities as anyone, and she truly lives her life each and every day with the Spirit of Special Olympics in her heart. For all these reasons and more, we are proud to recognize her as our 2019 Volunteer of the Year.
2019 Indiana Spirit of Special Olympics Awards
- Coach of the Year
- LETR Officer of the Year
- Volunteer of the Year
- Family of the Year
- ‘Michael Furnish’ Athlete of the Year
- ‘Dennis Schmidt’ Impact Award