On June 21st, 2022, SDS recipient Michael Haefner participated in the NYS Special Olympics Summer Games Law Enforcement Torch Run, which started at Binghamton University and was relayed to Tulley in Vestal. Michael ran a portion of the torch run with his trainer, Kyle, from Synergy. Michael trains and participates all year with the Broome-Tioga Panthers Training Club in preparation for the Special Olympics.

Michael’s mom, MaryAnn Haefner, who has been eager to discover what self-directed services can do, was excited to have her son participate in the torch run and have his trainer alongside him. She said of the service, “This is what self-directed (services) is all about – building bridges to the community. Kyle has been an amazing support and all-round great guy for my son, Michael. ”

The Law Enforcement Torch Run is a 56-leg relay that carries the Flame of Hope across the state to bring together communities and draw awareness to the Games and to the courage and diversity of our communities in New York State and around the world.

Thank you, MaryAnn, for sharing your son’s story with us, and congratulations, Michael, for your courage!

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