Community Service, and Sebastian Special Olympics

Sebastian, Florida was the site of a Special Olympics competition recently. According to News 12, almost “1,000 athletes, coaches, volunteers, and family members gathered” at Sebastian River High School. The event ran over two days and involved “more than 100 people” who “volunteer their time to help with things like event logistics, awards, and serving as competition officials.”

Everyone is familiar with Special Olympics. It is one of those organizations whose events touch a great many people on a personal level. These gatherings touch communities, people, and remind us that in the midst of all of the world's problems there are daily struggles and achievements that are compelling and heartwarming. 

I received a note this week from Judge Dietz in the Sebastian office. He wanted me to know about the Sebastian event, and specifically the involvement of Mediator Mark Hill. Here is what he said:

“My wife and I had the privilege of attending the Florida State Special Olympics Games held in Sebastian this weekend. We have volunteered at various Special Olympics activities over the years, and usually help with the awards presentations. We participate as volunteers, usually through Civitan’s involvement, and do our shift that usually runs about four hours. In this minor capacity, I was able to observe the Sebastian District’s very own mediator, Mark Hill, serving as the deck referee. He officiated each and every race from early Saturday morning until the end of the meet on Sunday afternoon. This is so far above and beyond the call of duty that it deserves special recognition. As a state certified swimming official that officiates high school swim meets, Mark lends his expertise in this field to a huge undertaking that involves hundreds and hundreds of Special Olympians, and the professionalism he brings to his mediations is on display throughout the weekend to competitors, coaches, families and friends. That deserves recognition!”

I am proud this week to recognize this community involvement and the investment of time and effort in a worthwhile event. I am appreciative to be part of a community (the many Florida workers' compensation professionals) that do so much for their communities, profession and state. We see the effort that goes into professional programs most readily. But I know that you are involved out there in scholarship fundraising, pro bono representation, Civitans, Rotary Club, Big Brothers/Sisters, blood drives, athletic programs, academic teams, and so much more. I hear the stories anecdotally and frankly I do a poor job remembering when I return to the office to post something about what I hear. 

How do you contribute to your community? Email me at david.langham@doah.state.fl.us and provide details about someone in the workers compensation community who deserves recognition for their efforts in the practice, the community, or the state.

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