They are true champions who have dedicated themselves to
building a world of inclusion and acceptance.
Marsha and Steve Perkins
Marsha and Steve Perkins are synonymous with Special Olympics Florida in Sumter County. Combined, they gave more than 40 years of their time to the organization, serving as volunteers, coaches, fundraisers, county coordinators and chaperones.
They were determined fundraisers, reaching out to local community groups to ensure programs were available for Sumter County athletes. They stressed – and implemented – regular training, quality officiating, and a system that nurtured acceptance, inclusion, and opportunity for all. With their guidance, Sumter became one of the first county programs to embrace Unified Sports.
Because of their commitment to building community involvement, athlete leadership opportunities, high-quality training and coaching, and a record of fiscal responsibility, Marsha and Steve are worthy additions to the Special Olympics Florida Hall of Fame.
Lindsay Fulop’s Special Olympics resume is tough to beat: Multiple gold, silver, and bronze medals; a participant in two Special Olympics World Games and three Special Olympics USA Games; 2009 Special Olympics New Jersey Hall of Fame inductee; 2020 Special Olympics Florida - Palm Beach County Athlete of the Year.
Those are remarkable achievements, but they only tell half the story. Lindsay is also a steadfast advocate for her fellow athletes. She is quick to share credit and thank those around her. She competes with joy and embraces the spirit of community promoted by Special Olympics.
That sense of inclusion and acceptance is invaluable. Because of Special Olympics, Lindsay says, “I’ve made a lot of friends.” Now into her fourth decade as an athlete, Lindsay is an inspiration to all of us at Special Olympics Florida and a champion of our mission.
Charles “CJ” Piantieri
Special Olympics Florida has given much to CJ Piantieri, helping him grow physically, socially, and emotionally. It has given him the chance to travel and compete, to make new friends and test himself. But as much as Special Olympics has done for CJ, he has done just as much for the organization.
CJ, an Orange County athlete, is a frequent volunteer who also helps with fundraisers, such as the Torch Icon Campaign at Publix, A Night with Our Stars, and Rosemary’s Challenge. He is an effective advocate, eager to convey the benefits of Special Olympics to people around the world.
As a competitor, CJ is a champion powerlifter, winning four gold medals at the Special Olympics USA Games and four silver medals at the Special Olympics World Games in Shanghai, China. He has also competed in Greece and the United Kingdom, establishing himself as one of the most consistent powerlifters on the regional, national, and international stage. We are honored to induct CJ into our Hall of Fame.