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Special Olympics' Sue Palmer a champion without a trophy

A focused Shawn Denton, 35, swung at the ball, driving it to the ninth hole, while nearby, 11-year-old Dominique O’Connell playfully chipped her ball to the middle of the green at a Special Olympics golf tournament Tuesday.

Standing at the center of this group, clutching a clipboard, was a blond woman with calm brown eyes, whose own drive and devotion has left a lasting imprint on all the athletes on the course.

Sue Palmer, 56, of Naples, has been involved with Collier County Special Olympics for more than two decades, beginning as a volunteer and later becoming coordinator. In that role, she runs the entire county program pro bono, overseeing everything from organizing events such as the golf tournament, to chaperoning trips to games. Since taking the reins in 1999, she has made the needs of the athletes a priority. Listening to what they wanted, Palmer added cycling to the list of sports offered, which now includes bowling, volleyball, bocce, football, sailing, golf and more.

via Special Olympics’ Sue Palmer a champion without a trophy » Naples Daily News.

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