Special Olympics honors its own ahead of SoCal Games

Special Olympics athletes prepare a procession into the sunken gardens that brought the torch to the stage through a corridor lined with local police officers.

Special Olympics athletes prepare a procession into the sunken gardens

With the SoCal Games barely a week away, Special Olympics Santa Barbara gathered at the Sunken Gardens on Friday to celebrate its athletes and recognize several annual awards given out by the organization.

Dr. Gary Cunningham received the Community Service Award for his work with Special Olympics Santa Barbara. Also cited was his leadership in athletics at UCSB as former Athletic Director, organizing member of the World University Games, and his years both playing and coaching at UCLA with the legendary coach John Wooden.

Abraham Moreno, Aaron Brown, Dr. Gary Cunningham, and Daniel Giordani

Abraham Moreno, Aaron Brown, Dr. Gary Cunningham, and Daniel Giordani


Daniel Giordani was given the Outstanding Youth Leader Award. Giordani started the Special Olympics Club at Dos Pueblos High School and was part of a delegation from Santa Barbara that traveled in February to represent the United States at the Global Youth Activation Summit in PyeongChang, Republic of Korea.

Also in that delegation were Round Table Mayor’s Trophy recipient Abraham Moreno and Friday’s luncheon host Aaron Brown, the Special Olympics Leadership Council chair.

Additionally honored at Friday’s luncheon was Adult Volunteer of the Year Jerry Siegel.

The Special Olympics SoCal Summer Games are June 8 and 9 at Cal State Long Beach.

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