Hall of Fame Hero: Sussex County Woman Honored - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Hall of Fame Hero: Sussex County Woman Honored

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MILLSBORO, Del.- Ask anyone who knows her, and they will all say the same thing. She is always smiling, always inspiring and lights up the room. For nearly 40 years, Marie McIntosh has been donating her time to Special Olympics Delaware. She helped expand the program through Sussex County, and will soon be inducted into the Special Olympics Hall of Fame.

When athletes first start with us, many of them do not talk,” McIntosh explained. “When they begin to talk with you, when they begin to laugh with you, they begin to joke with you, that's the incredible change that I love to see.”

Through her nearly four decades of involvement with Special Olympics, change is something Marie McIntosh has seen a lot of.

“We started with five,” she said. “So every summer, that number grew a little bit.”

Carol Bak is part of that number.

“Since I was 8 years old,” Bak smiled.

“She's just a very special person,” gushed Bak's mother, Linda.

“When it comes to a bike accident, she helped me to get on, back on the bike, and keep riding,” remembered athlete Tessa Skinner.

“I fell down and she tried to pull me up,” recalled Carol, thinking about a recent memory at the Polar Bear Plunge. “It was so funny.”

And so characteristic of the woman who is so much more than just a coach.

“She is their friend also,” explained Vicki Daisey, whose son has been participating in Special Olympics for 13 years. “And they just love her.”

And for that reason, and so many more, McIntosh is being inducted into the Special Olympics Delaware Hall of Fame.

I can't think of anyone more deserving,” noted Daisey.

“I think what keeps me going are the athletes and their willingness to try different sports,” explained McIntosh. “The other thing that keeps me going is this community. This community truly, truly has embraced the athletes.”

McIntosh calls the recognition an honor, but as always, it is not just about her.

A young man came up to me, whom I didn't know, and said, 'I saw your picture! I want to congratulate you, that's really good!' And now that is an athlete who probably, four or five years ago, you know, wouldn't be able to do that,” McIntosh noted.

Because this is not just a team. It is a family.

“While I'm the tennis coach, I also go to cycling, although I'm not the cycling coach,” McIntosh said. “And we all do that for each other. We all sort of stick together and help each other and it's just wonderful. That's a wonderful feeling.”

McIntosh will be inducted at the Night of Heroes event on Oct. 8th, becoming the 25th member of the Special Olympics Delaware Hall of Fame.

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