Every year, Special Olympics Texas holds an awards ceremony to recognize and demonstrate its appreciation of the volunteers, athletes, families and businesses that make the Special Olympics experience possible for our athletes.  Special Olympics Texas would like to congratulate our 2011 Chapter Award Winners listed below.

Audrey Alvarez - Female Athlete of the Year (15-21)

North Texas area athlete, Audrey Alvarez, is a basketball, bowling and athletics competitor.  She joined Special Olympics Texas as a first grader in the Graham I.S.D.  Over the years, Alvarez has worked hard to represent SOTX to the best of her ability.  Outside of competition, she volunteers in her community.


Barbara Montalvo - Coach of the Year

Since 1980, Barbara Montalvo has provided more than 3,000 hours of volunteer service to Special Olympics Texas .  She has worn several hats, including Head of Delegation and trainer, as well as served on many committees, including Games and Area Sports Management Team.  Montalvo’s commitment and service to SOTX hasn’t gone unrecognized; she earned the area’s 2003 Coach of the Year award and the chapter’s 2003 Trainer of the Year award.


Bell Helicopter Textron - Outstanding Service from a Business/Corporation

Bell Helicopter Textron employees began volunteering with Special Olympics Texas in 2004.  The company went from having just a handful of employees volunteer at SOTX events once a year to having more than 100 workers donate their time at Spring Games, Summer Games and bowling competitions throughout the year.  The company also contributes to SOTX as a cash sponsor of Polar Plunge, Steaks & Stetsons and area games, just to name a few. 


Brandon Le Master - Male Athlete of the Year (15-21)

Brandon Le Master is a powerlifting, athletics, equestrian, aquatics, bowling and tennis athlete from the Greater El Paso area.  Le Master joined the movement in 2001 and serves the organization as a Global Messenger and member of the Athlete Leadership Program. 


Brett Mohammadi - Female Athlete of the Year (22 and older)

San Antonio area athlete, Brett Mohammadi is an athletics, basketball, bocce, bowling and softball competitor.  She joined SOTX in 1995 and has proven herself to be a great addition to SOTX off the field and court.  Mohammadi makes time to volunteer at area fundraisers and Law Enforcement Torch Run events. 


Cindy Benzon - Outstanding Volunteer for Sports and Competition

Cindy Benzon got involved with Special Olympics Texas in 2007 and has worn several hats since then, including competition director, Special Olympics North America trainer and sports director.  In addition, she serves on the Greater Houston area tennis committee and has facilitated more than 20 state trainings. As Adaptive Tennis Coordinator for United States Tennis Association Texas, Benzon is proud that her staff has worked with SOTX for the last 15 years and it is one of the biggest highlights of the year. 

Clear Channel Outdoor - Outstanding Service from Print Media

Clear Channel Outdoor got involved with the movement in 2008 by actively participating in the R-word campaign.  The company donated billboards for the Greater Houston area’s Over the Edge fundraiser in 2010 and continues to raise awareness and support for SOTX programs and events. 

Judge Danny Valdez - Outstanding Service from Community Leader

Judge Danny Valdez is a 15-year SOTX volunteer.  He assists the Laredo area by awarding medals to athletes at Spring Games, bowling tournaments and Fall Games.  Judge Valdez also gets area corporations and businesses involved by asking them to donate prizes, food and monetary contributions to the cause. 

FOX34 - Outstanding Service from Electronic Media

South Plains area TV station, FOX34, got involved with Special Olympics Texas in 2000.  The station continues to promote and publicize the organization’s fundraising events and outreach efforts by running public service announcements (PSAs) and donating thousands of dollars in advertising space each year.  FOX34 personalities are also supporters and have served as hosts and emcees at SOTX events. 


Justin King - Unified Sports Partner of the Year

Justin King’s involvement with SOTX – Central Texas area began six years ago when he started volunteering alongside his mom.  Today, he serves the organization as a Unified Sports partner in golf, bowling, basketball and soccer.  In fact, King attended the 2010 National Games in Lincoln, NE as assistant coach of the Unified soccer team. 


The Kinkaid School - Class of 2012 - Outstanding Service from a Civic or Service Organization

The Kinkaid School - Class of 2012 got involved with the movement in 2006, and serves the organization by organizing and hosting the Greater Houston area’s Regional Bocce Tournament.  Each year, more than 130 Kinkaid students and their families participate in the tournament.  Over the past few years, Kinkaid has implemented bocce into their physical education program so that students can practice and learn the game.  The school also built bocce courts on campus and hosted fundraisers throughout the year to pay for the tournament. 


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Maelynne Pease - Trainer of the Year

Maelynne Pease’s involvement with Special Olympics Texas began nearly 20 years ago.  She dedicates much of her time to SOTX – San Antonio area as area training manager.  Pease is also a trainer for Principles of Coaching and a coach for eight different SOTX sports. 


Dr. Margaret Wooddy - Volunteer of the Year

Margaret Wooddy, Ph.D., began volunteering with SOTX at an area basketball competition at Baylor University in 1984.  Since then, she has served the organization in several capacities, including chair of the Area Sports Management Team.  Dr. Wooddy also facilitates the annual Heart of Texas area basketball tournament at Baylor,  serves as venue director for the area bocce and track meets, and coordinates Waco I.S.D.’s Motor Activities Training Program Challenge Day at Baylor.


Marilyn Senneway - Outstanding Volunteer for Fund Raising

Marilyn Senneway began fundraising for Special Olympics Texas in 2008.  She also contributed countless volunteer hours in the Central Texas area, and worked with the community to raise significant funds for all of the athletes in the New Braunfels community. 


Paul Holland - Male Athlete of the Year (22 and older)

Paul Holland is a bowling, athletics and bocce athlete from the Greater Dallas area. Holland joined Special Olympics Texas in 1990 and serves the organization in several ways. He is a Global Messenger and member of the Athlete Leadership Program, as well as a certified athlete bowling coach.


The Calhoun-Erdman Family - Family of the Year

The Calhoun-Erdman Family of Bryan began their service to Special Olympics Texas 20 years ago.  Since then, Don, Sue, Ben and Wendy have made volunteerism a family affair.  They assist with area and chapter Games by setting up for awards ceremonies and  encouraging athletes during competitions.  They also help locate practice sites for different sporting events in the Heart of East Texas area. 


Tim Taggart - Outstanding Service for Outreach

San Antonio area athlete, Tim Taggart, joined the movement in 1991.  The golf, athletics, basketball, bowling, soccer, softball, tennis and table tennis competitor also does a great job representing Special Olympics Texas off the field and court, presenting to groups about the importance of SOTX. He is also president of the San Antonio area’s Athlete Leadership Program.