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Bucks Special Olympics athlete wins award


Bucks County’s Bill Ridler is the recipient of the 2023 Sheetz Family Award of Excellence. The award was presented on June 7, following the first day of activities at this year’s Special Olympics Pennsylvania Summer Games.

Ridler received the 2023 award following the cancellation of last year’s Summer Games due to the Canadian wildfires.

The Sheetz Family Award of Excellence was created to capture the great sporting moments that distinguish the athletes at the Special Olympics Pennsylvania Summer Games. The award recognizes the athlete whose determination and effort can only be understood by the power of the human spirit to overcome obstacles and inspire greatness. It distinguishes the athletes who may not win, but whose courage, sportsmanship, effort and determination is award-winning.

Ridler has been training for the past several years to participate in this year’s Summer Games and did not let the pandemic or last year’s cancellation slow him down. He has a health condition that causes tumors to form all over the body and has only one functioning kidney, which only works 15%. Despite dealing with this health condition, he has worked hard to build his endurance and get faster. When last year’s Summer Games were canceled, he became more determined to participate in the Summer Games and resumed his training.

Ridler is very active in his community and chooses to give his medals to siblings of other athletes, charity workers who raise money for Special Olympics and Sheetz employees so they can understand why supporting the Special Olympics is so important.

The winners of the Sheetz Family Award of Excellence were selected by a team of Sheetz employees from applications submitted by delegation leaders and coaches. All nominees remained anonymous during the selection process.

Sheetz, a Mid-Atlantic restaurant and convenience chain, has 720 store locations throughout Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Virginia, Maryland, Ohio and North Carolina.

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