Home Local News von Drehle named NC Special Olympics Corporation of the Year

von Drehle named NC Special Olympics Corporation of the Year

Theressa Smith, Richmond County Special Olympic coordinator, presents the N.C. Special Olympics 2018 Corporation of the Year award to von Drehle Plant Manager Justin Dawkins on Nov. 29, 2018.
Contributed photo

CORDOVA ― A Richmond County company is one of 10 recipients of awards from the North Carolina Special Olympics.

The state organization announced Thursday that von Drehle was named 2018 Corporation of the Year. However, the actual award was presented on Nov. 29.

Theressa Smith, Richmond County Special Olympics coordinator, nominated von Drehle for the honor.

“We have no funding from the state or county, so we rely on donations and support from the community,” she said. “They have just gone above and beyond for our Special Olympics athletes.”

According to the press release sent by NCSO: “von Drehle began their involvement with Special Olympics Richmond County in 2016 and immediately made a big impact. Employees volunteered at each of the county’s three local competitions in 2018 (bocce, bowling and athletics) while providing in-kind donations of food and equipment and assisting on the county’s planning committee. von Drehle also serves Richmond County athletes by securing strategic partnerships for the local program, increasing awareness in the community and bringing new volunteers and sponsors into the movement.”

Plant Manager Justin Dawkins said the company’s involvement with the Special Olympics started after employees had already begun reading to children and being involved with activities at Cordova School, which was for special needs children at the time.


“We were looking at how we wanted to be involved in the community,” he said.

Dawkins added that several von Drehle employees have children who participate in the Special Olympics.

The company usually has anywhere from 8-23 employees go out to the events, help set up and coach.

One employee, Barbara Heaton, even went through state certification to be a bowling coach.

“I think our employees thoroughly enjoy it … and that’s why we stay involved with it,” Dawkins said.

The next big Special Olympics event is the bowling tournament, March 7 at Striker’s Bowling Center.


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