Volunteer of the Month: Aaron Brown

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It?s an offer he can?t refuse … and one that forever changes his life.

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Aaron and Jerry Raffelli

?Aaron is a very special person who is extremely committed to Special Olympics. He gives freely of his time and has made a tremendous impact on this program — and as leader of the Leadership Council, he has exhibited outstanding leadership qualities to further the organization,? says Gary Cunningham, President of U.S. International University Sports Federation and member of the Special Olympics ?Santa Barbara Leadership Council.

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Brown, now age 35 and a Financial Advisor for Edward Jones Investments, fondly recalls his first day coaching the 2006 Special Olympics All-Star Team?.

In his own words ?

At our first practice, Tim Jones ? a super quiet guy ? walks right up and says to me, ?Are you my coach??

I respond, ?Yes? and then he adds, ?I am the Michael Jordan of Special Olympics!?

I thought ?WOW! This is gonna be fun!?

Then Jerry Raffelli introduces himself ? ?My name is G-Money.?

?What?s that mean?? I ask and he responds, ?That?s my first initial (Gerald) and I?m money!?

I was sold!

From Sara Spataro, executive director of Special Olympics of Santa Barbara?

Aaron makes a huge difference on the team and in the players? lives. He?s more than coach ? he is their friend and mentor. He does sooo much for them on his own ? he takes them to sporting events ? he celebrates their birthdays ? he really is ?Mr. Special Olympics.?

Aaron presents the Special Olympics Athlete of the Month award each month at the Santa Barbara Athletic Round Table press luncheons. Here, he presents Debra Day with the award. (Presidio Sports Photo)

Plus, he?s dedicated to the awareness of Special Olympics ? he promotes us to his friends and colleagues and his leadership and practical experience makes a big difference on the Leadership Council.

Aaron is making a very positive impact in our community.

The bottom line ?

Aaron claims to be the fortunate one ? and he gives credit to his parents and his family who taught him that ?life is too short not to give.?

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We really appreciate Aaron?s perspective ?. his sense of humor? and total commitment to all local athletes. The fact that he is the sponsor of the Special Athlete Award and he is there to personally present it each month and say incredible things about his athletes is just phenomenal. He?s just great guy! — Rich Hanna, SBART President

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?I get more back than I put in. I?m very appreciative that Special Olympics has certainly provided me with a new perspective in life ? and I?m hooked,? he says humbly.

One of the best perks?

?You sure can learn a lot about real life while travelling and conversing in a van with these guys to an out-of-town basketball tourney!? he chuckles.

His biggest challenge?

Patience.

?It?s sometimes hard to know when I need to take a player out of a game or let them work through a rough spot,? Head Coach Brown shares with Presidio Sports.

?And I love my guys but sometimes it?s a little tough when they call me 92,000 times a day. They just want to check in and make sure I?m doing OK. I appreciate that, too but if I miss that first call, I?m in trouble!? he embellishes with a killer smile.

Safe to say ?

With his psychology/business collegiate education ? plus his financial investment counseling acumen ? plus his hands-on and uber-active volunteerism ? plus his genuine care and concern for others — our June Volunteer of the Month, personally and professionally, seems destined to help people — all people, even special ones — develop and integrate successful living strategies ? on the court and off.

He?s a selfless giver and a leader who lives by shining example ?

And in this very real Game of Life — MVP Aaron Brown is, most certainly, going the distance in ?The Bigs!!?

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Top 10 Things You Might Not Know About Aaron Brown

10. Doesn?t take himself too seriously.
9. Enjoys travelling and has been to Europe 3X in last two years!
8. Lived his first seven years in Oregon and returns every year to see his family.
7. Worked 10 years at Albertson?s and the last seven years in the financial services world.
6. ?Super independent? & always looks at the positive side of life.
5. Worked high school summers as a Rogue River rafting guide.
4. Plays softball, hoops, kickball and volleyball with friends every chance he gets.
3. Savors boating and all water sports ? especially ocean kayaking.
2. He?s a single dude who loves to laugh!
1. Originally came to SB thanks to a high school friend.

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