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Gudenkauf family of Southeast Area wins SOMO family of the year

Each year, Special Olympics Missouri salutes those who have made significant contributions to the Special Olympics movement. Each area nominee is submitted for statewide recognition, and the overall winners were also announced at the SOMO Awards Luncheon June 26, 2021. Congratulations to the Gudenkauf family, for being chosen as the 2021 SOMO family of the year!

Upon moving to Missouri, Lisa Gudenkauf reached out to our area office. When living in Kansas, they were active in Special Olympics and they wanted to continue to have opportunities for their son, Morgan to participate. Lisa, Mark and Morgan quickly became champions for all athletes in the Southwest Missouri area. Lisa and Mark have been coaches, chaperones and Unified Partners. Lisa has recruited 2 new teams, many new coaches and volunteers and has served as the coordinator for the Springfield team. They have been instrumental in team fundraising, community partnerships and creating community awareness of the Special Olympics movement. Morgan competes in Swimming, Powerlifting, Bowling, Basketball, Bocce, Softball and Volleyball. Morgan is frequently seen cheering on teammates, offering high fives and always has a big smile and hello for everyone. The Gudenkauf family have becomes friends to many athletes and their families and never hesitate to assist someone in need. Lisa finds volunteers when we are in need at events, provides transportation to athletes in need and assists athletes with finding community resources. They jump in to help where needed at events and are always inclusive of everyone.

The Gudenkauf Family are a true asset to the SW SOMO Area.