Former Special Olympics Michigan (SOMI) President and CEO, Lois Arnold, and longtime volunteer Doreen Levine were inducted into the Special Olympics Michigan Hall of Fame on Saturday, November 3, at the International Banquet Center in Detroit.
Lois Arnold, 2018 SOMI Hall of Fame inductee
Lois Arnold first got involved with Special Olympics Michigan 40 years ago as a volunteer while attending Northern Michigan University. In 1980, she joined Special Olympics Michigan's staff in Mt. Pleasant holding the position of Sports Coordinator, was promoted to Sports and Training Director in 1982, then Associate Director in 1986. During this time, she was responsible for overseeing the sports, training, competition and volunteer management statewide. Then in November 1990, she was named Special Olympics Michigan's President and CEO, a position she held until her retirement in August 2018. Under Lois Arnold's leadership, SOMI gained financial stability, increased the number of sports offered annually, added a Young Athletes program for children ages 2 to 7 years old and started inclusive programs within Michigan schools K-12 schools, colleges and universities.
Doreen Levine, 2018 SOMI Hall of Fame inductee
Doreen Levine resides in Sandusky, Michigan and has volunteered with Special Olympics Michigan since 1972 when she first attended the State Summer Games in Mt. Pleasant. Since then, she has done anything and everything for the athletes in Sanilac County. Doreen has served as a County Coordinator for 46 years, having started snowshoe, cross country skiing, track and field, bocce, soccer, golf and MATP (Motor Activity Training Program) in her area. She has also organized numerous fundraisers, served on the Area Management Team and is a certified coach in five sports. In her 46 years, Doreen has never missed a State Winter or Summer Games. She has also provided clothing, shoes and boots for her athletes who were not able to afford them, and has provided rides to and from practices, games and state events when athletes would have otherwise not been able to attend. At 70 years old, Doreen still has the same love and passion for her athletes as she did 46 years ago when she first started.
In addition to the Hall of Fame inductees, Special Olympics Michigan also honored the following people and organizations for their contributions to Special Olympics Michigan during the Hall of Fame Banquet on November 3:
Board Chair Award: Ken Mattei
Spirit Award: Cheryl Bartel
Outstanding Media Award: Matt "Mojo" Lersch, Q106
Outstanding Civic Organization Award: Fenton Moose Lodge 430
Outstanding Business Award: J K & T Wings, Inc.
Outstanding Service Award: Chrysler Proving Grounds
Outstanding Education Award: Dr. Sandra Alspach, Ferris State University
Outstanding Education Award: Detroit Public Schools
Outstanding Family Award: Tierney Family
Outstanding Fundraiser Award: LYNX Golf Outing Committee