SYRACUSE — The Special Olympics New York recently presented CSEA Central Region President Kenny Greenleaf its “Game Changer” award, which recognizes those who go above and beyond in supporting Special Olympics athletes.
Greenleaf accepted the award at the 2023 Syracuse Night of Champions ceremony.
Greenleaf has been a dedicated member of the region’s “Polar Peeps” plunge team for years and has helped to raise thousands of dollars for the Special Olympics. As region president, he’s been instrumental in continuing strong support for the Polar Plunges. The Central Region also received the 2022 CSEA President’s Polar Cap Award for raising the most money for the Special Olympics. While Greenleaf accepted the award with his name on it, he noted it’s really for all members who have helped to raise money for an organization that means so much to him. “This is an organization and cause that is close to my heart,” said Greenleaf. “My late sister, Elva Marie, was cared for by our members of the state DDSO in a day-hab program. This has been a great way to honor her.” Greenleaf also made a point to recognize the late Jolene Radley, who served as our union’s Cape
Vincent Correctional Facility Local president and was frequently the region’s top Polar Plunge fundraiser before her death last year. To raise the money, Radley would hem and alter her co-workers’ uniforms. She also made and sold masks throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, with all proceeds going to Special Olympics. “Thank you to everyone that has helped make our fundraising efforts so successful throughout the years,” said Greenleaf. “We look forward to being a partner with Special Olympics New York for years to come.”
— Nicholas Newcomb