BOZEMAN — The Montana Special Olympics kick off virtually across the state in a little more than two months, and one Bozeman couple donated $1 million to help keep the organization running for years to come.
“It’s a quality program with quality people with an important mission, and it changes lives," donor Cyndi Huempfner said. "You can’t give to anything better than that.”
Back in 2016, the Montana Special Olympics launched an endowment campaign called “Reveal the Champion in All of Us” with a goal of raising $10 million over a five-year span.
“You want to know that it's going to be here long after you’re gone," donor Mike Huempfner said. "It’s 10 million that will be here to support the Special Olympics forever.”
Cyndi Huempfner started volunteering for the Montana Special Olympics in the year 2000. Over the past 21 years, she’s seen firsthand how much of an impact this organization makes on the athletes competing.
“It’s an organization that really cares about them as individuals," Cyndi Huempfner explained. "Everyone has abilities and disabilities. We try to focus on the abilities of what they have. To see the respect and inclusion, and the feeling of community and friendship that the athletes have, it’s just terrific.”
Along with three other $1 million donations from families across the state, and one from Sheridan, Wyoming, the campaign has secured a little over $7 million.
“The endowment campaign is for the continuity of the program throughout the state and to make sure it stays forever and ever," Cyndi Huempfner added. “It just is something that will help it to grow and continue, and so we’re pushing for the last little under 3 million.”
With the campaign set to end June 30, Cyndi is hopeful others will be inspired to donate to the organization’s mission and wants to remind donors that no amount is too small.
“The Special Olympics looks at every level of ability or disability and lets them excel or shine with whatever abilities they have. I believe in its importance. I believe it makes a difference in lives. It really does. It’s a concrete thing that I can see," Cyndi Huempfner said.