State’s Top Awards Presented at State Bowling Tournament Dance
Special Olympics Kentucky presented its most prestigious awards of the year on Dec. 7 during the Victory Dance held in conjunction with the 2019 State Bowling Tournament. The Awards go to those who most exemplify the Spirit of Special Olympics throughout the year.
Fort Mitchell athlete Luke Rutterer was named 2019 SOKY Athlete of the Year. Rutterer, 36, has been a Special Olympics athlete for 19 years. He has competed in most of the 15 sports Special Olympics Kentucky offers, but currently focuses on golf, bowling, basketball and flag football. In November, Rutterer graduated from the Athlete Leadership Program. Throughout his Special Olympics career, Rutterer has served as an outstanding ambassador for the program, representing his fellow athletes at events across the state. He was one of the state’s representatives at the 2016 Special Olympics North America National Invitational Golf Tournament.
In addition to his Special Olympics activities, Luke holds three part-time jobs, at St. Elizabeth Medical Center, car-part.com and Kremer’s Market.
Bill Steinman of Lexington has been honored as the 2019 SOKY Coach of the Year. Steinman has been a Special Olympics coach for more than 18 years with Fayette County Special Olympics. He serves as a head coach for bowling and softball and an assistant track and field coach. He also helps with flag football, equestrian and basketball. He is the father of Special Olympics Kentucky athlete Julia Steinman. Bill is retired from IBM and now works part-time at Keeneland.
Mike and Tammy Kinstler of Walton were named the 2019 SOKY Volunteers of the Year. The Kinstlers have been an incredible team volunteering with Special Olympics for more than 10 years. Mike regularly works as a softball umpire and basketball official while Tammy keeps score and announces at games. They are regulars at events both in Northern Kentucky and across the state, travelling to Louisville for the State Basketball and Bowling Tournaments and to Bowling Green for the State Softball Tournament. Mike retired from Cincinnati Bell after 40 years with the company. Tammy works part time at the Klette, Klette and Mauntel law firm.
Finally, SOKY presented its inaugural Family of the Year Award to the Woolridge family – Father Brad, mother Ginny and sons Braden and Braxton – of Louisville.
Brad, who is an officer with the Louisville Metro Police Department, began his work with Special Olympics in 2003 as part of the Law Enforcement Torch Run, a law enforcement organization that raises funds and awareness to support Special Olympics. Over time the family has joined in. All four are regularly seen supporting Special Olympics events in the Louisville area and beyond. In addition to volunteering at numerous competitions and fundraising events, Brad is one of the primary organizers of Law Enforcement Torch Run activities around the state. Brad was also a participant in the Law Enforcement Torch Run Final Leg for the 2019 World Summer Games in Abu Dhabi where he helped escort the Special Olympics Flame around the United Arab Emirates before it reached the Games’ Opening Ceremonies.
Ginny has served as a volunteer photographer at numerous events including the Polar Plunge, UPS Plane Pull, State Summer Games and others.
Braden, 12, and Braxton, 10, have both volunteered and numerous events and raised money and participated in the 2019 Polar Plunge in Louisville. They combined to raise more than $1,250 for the Plunge.
Congratulations to all of this year’s honorees.
For more information about the Special Olympics Kentucky Annual Awards, contact Hunter Brislin at 502-695-8333 or [email protected].