Regina Mancuso
Franklin County Special Olympics Manager

Regina Mancuso: Her Loyalty to Special Olympics
By Ariana Deneau-Klenzing

Regina Mancuso is a name anyone who has been involved with the Franklin County Special Olympics has heard of. She has an amazing history with Special Olympics, and it all started 40 years ago, when she was just a teacher.

It began with track and field event at Slippery Rock State College in 1974. Regina helped to train the athletes that semester, and she knew this was what she wanted to do. "This is where it all started for me," Regina wrote. Two years after this event, she held the first track and field meet at CASHS. This was just the beginning.

That's when Special Olympics started for this area. Area N was started in 1978, and it consisted of Franklin, Adams, and York counties. This was when Regina became manager. The Area Games were held in 1980 for these counties. Next up was the International Games, where Regina was a coach. At LSU, she was a volunteer coach. At Notre Dame, she was an assistant volleyball coach. In Minneapolis/ St. Paul, she was the Athletic head coach, and the same at Yale.

In 1982, she accompanied nine athletes to the United Kingdom representing the USA, along with Suzie Cuff. She couldn't believe that she was selected as the one of the two US team coaches. All nine of the athletes returned with medals. In 1986, she was elected to the Board of Directors for the Pennsylvania Special Olympics. She served here for ten years. She was later awarded Volunteer of the Year in 1990 and Manager of the Year in 1992.

The awards didn't stop there. In 2001, she was inducted into the Special Olympics Hall of Fame. "I was floored. I just stood there, and then I just cried. I was so was such a wonderful feeling," she told the newspaper. Six years later in 2007, she was given another volunteer award for her service, which at the time was for more than 35 years. That year, she was the first volunteer to be recognized.

Under Regina's leadership, Special Olympics has grown. More parents have become involved, more athletes have participated, and more sports have been introduced. Without her dedication, the Franklin County Special Olympics would be nowhere. She has spent countless hours over the years coaching, organizing events, and fund-raising.

Regina has earned many awards for her time volunteering and deserves every single one of them. Her dedication of 40 years is incredible, and it'll be sad to see her step down from her position as manager. She has impacted many athletes and inspired countless others. For someone as small as she is, she has the biggest heart that is filled with love for volunteering and for the athletes. She will be missed as the Franklin County Special Olympics manager.