CONWAY, Ark. – The Special Olympics of Arkansas “Fall Games” wrapped up today. Games were played, and medals were received – but something was missing.
Toni Naugel dedicated her life to Special Olympics, they said. She, unfortunately, passed away in June, and today was the first event without her.
“You know when you do something with someone for thirty years and then all of sudden, they’re gone – it’s like a part of you is missing.” Area Director for Area 10, Rene Prewett said.
Naugel was a coach for the Special Olympics, and helped in any way she could, they said.
“It’s hard for all of us, but for our athletes, it’s hard for them to process and understand,” Prewett said.
“I miss her, and her whole heart” an athlete who lived with Naugel, Keith Lertpenmaeta, said.
Each member of the team wore shirts in Naugel’s honor, with the quote “live like Naugel” on the back.
“She gave her life to Special Olympics, to her athletes, to her students – they were her life, and they made her life full because of it – so give to others, do for others – it makes all the difference in the world,” Prewett said.
Naugel left behind a legacy, one her athletes will make sure is never forgotten.