Paul McKnight, Assistant Area Manager for Probation and Parole Services, has been involved with the Law Enforcement Torch Run for the past 12 years, and first got involved when a colleague invited her to participate in a community run. Overwhelmed by the community involvement and enthusiasm from the athletes, Paula says “it was infectious and I knew immediately I wanted to be more involved!”
Now volunteering as a coach with her local swim team (the Sudbury Sunfish) and as a Zone Coordinator, Paula continues to be a part of the recruitment and planning for Special Olympics events – “I enjoy all the smiles and feeling I make a difference. I continue to be proud and it is an honour to be a part of such an incredible organization that has become family!”
To Paula, Special Olympics means more than just that though; “it means opportunity, and we can help make dreams come true for so many athletes out there that – without the support of LETR – would not have that opportunity. If I can help just a little to provide that opportunity, it makes me smile.”
Looking back on her history with LETR and Special Olympics, Paula says the highlight for her was the local run in North Bay in 2015. “It was a bitterly cold run (-35 degrees if I recall) and despite the cold temperatures, we had an awesome turnout for the run with many of the local athletes willing brave the cold. In the moment you forget about the cold temperatures and enjoyed the smiles and warm hugs we all took part in celebrating together!”
Paula says that “the rewards for giving back to LETR are so much greater than one can explain. You feel part of a family and each and every one of us makes a difference!” Thank you Paula for your dedication to the Torch Run and Special Olympics athletes!