About 70 trophies from past tournaments and events at Grand Valley will become a fixture in the homes of Special Olympics champions next month.
Grand Valley donated the trophies to the Michigan Special Olympics summer games, which take place May 31-June 2. The trophies will be given to gold, silver and bronze Olympic champions.
Sally Vissers, department coordinator for Women and Gender Studies, said Bart Bartels, from the Sustainable Community Development Initiative, approached her about reusing the trophies. Visser and her husband have been volunteers for the statewide event for more than 20 years.
“Bart found out about the trophies through Bob Stoll, who got them from custodians in the Fieldhouse, and was asking around to see if anyone could use them,” she said. “I didn’t want them to go to waste and the trophies are in good condition, so we decided they could be reused for the summer games.”
Vissers said the event relies heavily on donations from local organizations, and a local business volunteered to replate and polish the trophies. “The kids work year round to prepare for the competition, so they will be so excited to receive a trophy and be recognized for their hard work,” she said.