Winfield to be honored by Special Olympics R.I.
STATE HOUSE – Rep. Thomas Winfield will be honored by Special Olympics Rhode Island next week for his longtime support of the organization and to people with intellectual disabilities.
Representative Winfield (D-Dist. 53, Smithfield, Glocester) will be honored with the organization’s “Inspire Greatness” award at its Chairman’s Reception June 2, the day the Special Olympics State Summer Games kick off. The award is for individuals or organizations who have made a positive impact on the lives of people with intellectual disabilities.
According to Special Olympics Rhode Island CEO Dennis DeJesus, Representative Winfield was selected for the honor in recognition of his “longtime support of the mission and vision of the Special Olympics movement” and his advocacy for people with intellectual disabilities.
“In our eyes, Tom Winfield has always been a strong advocate for people with intellectual disabilities. He has always been just a phone call away when we need assistance,” said DeJesus.
Representative Winfield said the genesis of his strong support for people with intellectual disabilities was early in his tenure in the House, when the late Paul V. Sherlock introduced him to his son, Timmy, who has an intellectual disability.
“Paul explained the importance of our work and how it affects people like Timmy. Let’s just say the lesson stuck,” he said, adding that because Special Olympics Rhode Island is headquartered in his district, he feels that looking after its needs at the state level is part of his job.
Representative Winfield, his wife Becky, and their dog Buddy have been making their own special contribution to Special Olympics Rhode Island this spring. Buddy, who is a therapy dog, has a special stick-on applique of himself in cartoon form that the family gives out to those they meet. They have had a special version of the applique with the Rhode Island Special Olympics logo created to bring attention to RISO. For each one they give to someone, he and Mrs. Winfield will be making a donation to the organization.