42 Years And Counting- About Bill Depauw
BY: HANNAH BOUDREAU
Special Olympics Maryland supports 7,549 athletes across the state. In order reach all of the athletes involved with Special Olympics, it is necessary to have volunteers. There are over 7,000 volunteers who are involved with Special Olympics. These volunteers are enthusiastic, energetic, and committed; a description that Bill Depauw, a Baltimore native, fits to a T.
Bill has been volunteering for the Special Olympics since February 1975. He recalls his first involvement with the Special Olympics: a bowling tournament. At the bowling tournament, John Rigley, a fellow volunteer, recruited him to help at the Summer Games. His duty at his first Summer Games was to recruit “huggers” (a volunteer that was paired off with an athlete for the day to help them go to their events/games at the right time and cheer for them.)
Bill’s duties have since evolved. Now, he is the Director of Registration, which makes him responsible for registration of athletes and coaches at the Summer Games. He also helps in the Control Center, which is a job he has just recently started doing the past few years. “Previously, I have [had] many other functions as needed at that time,” Bill explains.
Originally, Bill became involved because he was a member of the Towson Jaycees, a leadership organization that provides development opportunities empowering young people to make a difference in their community. Of the three founding fathers of Special Olympics Maryland, two were members of the Towson Jaycees. In its early days, the group was very involved with Special Olympics.
Though the Towson Jaycees were the reason why Bill got involved with Special Olympics, he stays involved because he enjoys helping the athletes, “…some of whom [I have watched] go from children to adults,” Bill explains.
His dedication to Special Olympics Maryland is certainly appreciated and admired by anyone who is involved with the organization. “I feel everyone should find the time to volunteer in a cause that may be special to them,” said Bill.
This article was written by Special Olympics Maryland