Friday Jul 10, 2015

"Special Olympics, Then and Now!"

Dave Lenox

President & CEO Special Olympics - Washington (SOWA)

Introduced by: Sheldon Sweeney

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President Paul Chapman (PPC) opened his first meeting of the year by introducing Nic Wildeman to do the invocation and the pledge. Nic’s invocation was right in line since he was followed by Howard Johnson. The invocation follows:

Lord, Thou knowest better than I know myself that I am growing older, and will some day be old.

Keep me from getting talkative, and particularly from the fatal habit of thinking I must say something on every subject and on every occasion.

Release me from craving to try to straighten out everybody’s affairs.

Keep my mind free from the recital of endless details – – give me wings to get to the point.

I ask for grace enough to listen to the tales of others’ pains. Help me to endure them with patience.

But seal my lips on my own aches and pains – – they are increasing and my love of rehearsing them is becoming sweeter as the years go by.

Teach me the glorious lesson that occasionally it is possible that I may be mistaken.

Keep me reasonably sweet; I do not want to be a saint – some of them are so hard to live with – but a sour old woman is one of the crowning works of the devil.

Make me thoughtful, but not moody; helpful, but not bossy. With my vast store of wisdom, it seems a pity not to use it all – but Thou knowest, Lord, that I want a few friends at the end.

Howard Johnson introduced guests and visiting Rotarians. It was an easy job since even some of the members could not find the location. Howard forgot the “You are always welcome” sentence but PPC filled it in. Alex Chehab was the host and also had an easy time of it.

Howard was also recognized at the Rotarian of the Year. He was honored at the Rotating of the Wheels dinner as well

John Schwager gave an update on the golf tournament. No surprises here. They need sponsors and golfers.

Our hostess Kathy Haggart, president & CEO of the Boys and Girls Club Bellevue, welcomed us and acknowledged our donation that helped them get the building we were in. It is the only dedicated teen center in Bellevue. All in all they have 11000 kids using their facilities. They are $17 million into a $20 million capital campaign.

A slide show presentation of the Rotating the Wheels dinner was shown. It appears all that attended and a rollicking good time with the roaring 20’s theme. Sheldon Sweeney added to this with a history lesson of the 1920’s, Rotary and otherwise.

Sheldon Sweeney introduced Dave Lennox Special Olympics of Washington’s President & CEO.

If you thought the Special Olympics were just games held periodically, you would be wrong. It is all about development of the intellectually disabled through self-advocacy. There are 200 million worldwide with intellectual disabilities. They have programs for all that fit their level. Dave was joined by Molly who herself is intellectually disabled. Molly is employed by SWOA as their receptionist. Seeing her personality come through, it is easy to see why she got the job. Part of SOWA’s job is to change attitudes toward the intellectually disabled by exposure. They certainly accomplished that with this presentation.

PPC’s thought for the day and the Special Olympics Motto: “Let me win, but if I cannot win, let me be brave in the attempt”.

About the Speaker

Dave Lenox took over as President and CEO of Special Olympics Washington (SOWA) in August of 2014.
Prior to joining SOWA, Lenox served as Vice President for Leadership Development and Education at Special Olympics Inc. in Washington, DC. Dave began his journey with Special Olympics as a games volunteer in 1976. Moving on to coaching and then becoming a local committee member, he began employment with Special Olympics in 1985 as Area Director for the Kansas City, Missouri area.
In 1987 Lenox became Executive Director for Special Olympics West Virginia, and in 1989 he became CEO for Special Olympics North Carolina. In 1997 Dave was recruited to join the Headquarters office of Special Olympics as Director of Athlete Leadership Programming. In 2003, he took oversight of the Sports Department as well. In his current role as the key strategist in the effort to develop leadership and education initiatives that support and advance the work of the Special Olympics Movement, Dave oversees Family Support, Young Athletes, Athlete Leadership, Youth Activation, EKS Fellowships, and volunteer/staff leadership development programming.
He has a BS in Special Education from Missouri State University and a Master of Science degree in Business Organization and Design from Capella University. Dave is married with two children. His son Maxwell is a 4th Year Cadet and Captain of the Men’s Basketball team at the United States Military Academy at West Point; and his daughter Erin attends Seattle Central College