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February 01, 2013 | North America: Ohio

Igniting My Passion

By Margie Schmitz-Shaw

For as long as I can remember, I've had a passion for Special Olympics. I believe this is due to having a cousin with Down syndrome (she's 2 years younger than me). Hearing of her accomplishments in track and field and art competitions when she was young and as a bowler as an adult inspired me to help her achieve more as my aunt and uncle aged. I became a partner in Unified bowling (Hamilton County, Ohio) some 15 years ago. When I met my husband (also a bowler), I asked if he would like to be a Unified partner. One season of Unified bowling, and he was hooked; neither of us have returned to the competitive "cut-throat" world of bowling. In 2001, our Unified team represented our county at the National Bowling Tournament in Reno. That one trip made deciding a yearly vacation destination easy for us ... wherever Nationals are, that's where we go, and we've made great friends. Since 2006, I've had the honor of leading athletes and partners in our National Anthem at opening ceremonies.

About Margie Schmitz-Shaw: Occupation - Sr. Manager, Information Security and Auditing for an international corporation. Married Ron Shaw in 2001 Other interests - music, gardening, cooking/baking and reading. We make our home in Mason, Ohio.

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