Special Olympics Athletes Inspire Domino’s Team Members

Published: Oct. 9, 2020
Special Olympics
A number of Domino’s team members volunteered at the 2019 Special Olympics of Michigan Fall Games in Ypsilanti, Michigan.

When Lynnda Heppler, Domino’s director of graphic design, watched the Special Olympics Winter World Games in 2017, she was inspired by the event's mission to empower those with disabilities. The cause also hit close to home, as Lynnda’s young niece has Down syndrome. Soon after the 2017 games, it became her family goal to attend a Special Olympics ceremony with her niece.

Lynnda and her family have since dedicated time towards supporting Special Olympics Michigan. Lynnda and all Domino's team members have the opportunity to volunteer with Special Olympics Michigan's Fall Games every year. Domino's has sponsored the event for four years and many team members volunteer to assist athletes by handing out water or collecting balls that go out-of-bounds during soccer matches.

Last year, Lynnda supported athletes at the snack and water stations. She loved interacting with the kids and continues to be inspired by the their passion.

"It is an incredible feeling to volunteer your time to support kids with challenges, and the athletes in return share their passion for working hard and competing in sports to overcome their obstacles," Lynnda said.

Other Domino's team members who have volunteered with Special Olympics Michigan echo Lynnda's sentiment. Martin Kennedy, Domino’s lead specialist of quality assurance, said Special Olympics provides young athletes with an opportunity to participate in athletics that many people take for granted. Martin was inspired by the confidence the players developed through participating in athletic events.

"To me, the Special Olympics are the most genuine and beautiful form of athletic competition," he said. "Everyone participating is doing so out of the pure love of participation and team. There are no egos, only elation."

This year’s Special Olympics Michigan Fall Games will be held virtually, but Domino's team members will still have opportunities to support Special Olympics through virtual and socially distanced volunteer events throughout the year. No matter what the games look like, it’s important to Domino’s team members to be there for Special Olympic athletes.

"I love that Domino’s supports the kids in Special Olympics," Lynnda said. "It's such a rewarding experience, and I hope to see my 9-year-old niece participate someday."

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