Special Olympics honors DMC professor

A Del Mar College professor was honored during the 36th annual South Texas Area Spring Games.

Citgo and the organizers of Special Olympics Texas hosted the games on April 6 at Flour Bluff High School. According to organizers, 550 athletes participated. 

The openings ceremonies kicked off with Curtis Lee, professor of the Occupational Therapy Assistant Program, being recognized as Volunteer of the Year.  

“He’s a wonderful man and has been teaching at Del Mar College for 15 years. He’s been volunteering for over 20 years,” said his wife, Donna Lee. 

Lee understands firsthand what the athletes and their families go through. Lee and his wife have helped raise nieces and nephews who also have enjoyed participating in the Special Olympics. 

“I’m a special-needs family also,” Lee said.

Lee teaches students not only how to better assist their future patients, but how to serve as a better leader in the community by volunteering. Occupational therapy students volunteered at the event.  

Lee said giving back is rewarding and a no-brainer. He plans to continue to volunteer and get his students to do so as well. 

Events included track, basketball, bowling and softball. Students assisted children with special needs on the field and off. 

Lee shared one of his most cherished memories of watching his niece race one year.

“She saw me over there with the camera, and when she saw Uncle Curtis with the camera, she went from second place to sixth place because she was mugging for the camera the whole time,” Lee said.

To some, it may have been disappointing to not get first place, but Lee said that’s not what it’s about.

“That’s half the fun,” Lee said. “That’s the fun we have.”

For information on volunteering for the South Texas Special Olympics, visit their website at www.sotx.org. 

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