Special Olympics Florida

Michael Schumacher

Parent, Coach and Management Team Member, Walton County

I am a parent of a son with autism. We moved to Walton County, FL in 2012 from Northern Virginia. My son was 13 years old at the time and we were active in Special Olympics Virginia before we moved. Shortly after arriving, I was surprised to learn that Walton County did not have an active Special Olympics program. I knew how important Special Olympics was for my son and I knew I had to provide that opportunity for him and our local special needs community.

In 2013, I contacted Special Olympics Florida and volunteered to help re-start the program for Walton County. Sherry Wheelock was our new CEO and she helped me coordinate with the state office and the local community to get the training and funding that we needed to reactivate the program. Six years later we have over 100 athletes, 13 sports and a full time County Director.  I am now on the Management Team as the Fundraising Chair, and I help coach the four sports that my son participates in. I am very active at the local, area and state level to promote and expand our Special Olympics programs.

I am very proud of the athletes, coaches, volunteers and management team.  We are one big Walton County family. I am also proud of the work and progress being done in our area and at the state level over the past six years. I am excited about the direction of Special Olympics  Florida, and I look forward to being a part of that growth process for years to come. I hope to see you at future events.