About Special Olympics Bismarck

Special Olympics is an international nonprofit organization* dedicated to empowering individuals with intellectual disabilities to become physically fit, productive and respected members of society through sports training and competition. Special Olympics offers children and adults with intellectual disabilities year-round training and competition in 32 Olympic-type summer and winter sports. (*Special Olympics is recognized as a tax-exempt organization under U.S. Internal Revenue Code Section 501(c)(3).)

The mission of Special Olympics is to provide year-round sports training and athletic competition in a variety of Olympic-type sports for children and adults with intellectual disabilities, giving them continuing opportunities to develop physical fitness, demonstrate courage, experience joy and participate in a sharing of gifts, skills and friendship with their families, other Special Olympics athletes and the community.

Special Olympics North Dakota serves athletes, partners, coaches and other partners through twelve Area Programs in the state. We offer sports all year round with weekly practices, periodic games and annual tournaments. Whatever your interest in Special Olympics, we’re excited to have you join us make a real difference in people’s lives.

The Bismarck program (Area 10) is run by a core group of local volunteers, known as the Area Management Team (AMT). The AMT helps maintain the local programs activities, from practices and tournaments to local fundraisers and outreach. The AMT relies heavily on local volunteers and supporters throughout the Bismarck area.

Our Team

Marisa Misek

Area Management Team - Volunteer Coordinator

Marisa has been with SOND-Bismarck for five years. She has enjoyed helping with Basketball, Volleyball, and Soccer. She most enjoys watching the excitement and enthusiasm that the athletes have during each sport, and being a part of that experience with them.  Although she knows she is supposed to be the one making an impact on the athletes, she often feels like she is getting the most out of Special Olympics.
Why should others get involved, she’ll tell you, “Volunteering is a very rewarding and fun way to make a difference in your community.  Each season is only a few months long, so volunteering doesn’t have to be a huge commitment, and you can do as many or as few seasons as you like.  There is nothing else quite like it, so I encourage everyone to come join us!”

Petra Hulm

Area Managment Team Member

Petra has been a part of SOND-Bismarck for more than 10 years filling in wherever she is needed. Her favorite part of the organization is the athletes, “The everyday grind and worries fall away when I am with them,” she’ll tell you. Others should get involved with the organization because after volunteering all her life, “Working with Special Olympics has been the most rewarding experience.  Volunteering in your community is so important, and Special Olympics offers many different opportunities to do so. It can be a small or large time commitment.

Amanda Bakkedahl

Area Management Team - Treasurer

Amanda has spent 9 years volunteering with SOND-Bismarck. She helps coach Basketball, Volleyball, and Soccer. She most enjoys all of the small victories both on, and off, the court. She’ll tell you that, “Special O has taught me to slow down and enjoy the small “wins” in life and that a “hug” usually cures all!”

Nic Cullen

Area Management Team - Competition & Transportation Coordinator

Nic has been with SOND-Bismarck for over 20 years. He has coached basketball, bowling, soccer, Track & Field and Volleyball. He has also partners in both soccer and volleyball. He says what he enjoys most about Special Olympics is that athletes are just as excited getting a first place medal as they are receiving an eighth place ribbon; then running up to you yelling, “Coach, look!” with a beaming smile and feeling of pride.
When asked why others should get involved with the program, he’ll tell you, “For many of the athletes, Special Olympics is the highlight of their week. There are times where we need additional volunteers to help make that time of the week as fun and joyous as possible. Once you see the smiles on their faces, you’ll never regret volunteering.”

Richard J Schwingler

Rich has served the SOND-Bismarck program for over 10 years as a coach for Cross Country Skiing, Snow Shoeing and Bocce Ball. He spends his time with SOND-Bismarck because he enjoys the community of people who care enough to make a difference. He’ll tell you to volunteer, “Because  it is one of the most rewarding organizations to be part of.”

Patricia Krueger

Pat has been with SOND-Bismarck since 1989 coaching Basketball, Soccer, Track & Field and helping with Volleyball and Handball. She says it’s a pleasure being involved with all the athletes and families in Bismarck. She may not coach anymore, but she enjoys the time as, “bus monitor” traveling with the athletes throughout the year. She thinks more people should get involved with Special Olympics because, “It’s a great and worthwhile time, it’s a part of your life that is rewarding to you and the athletes. There is always room for everyone from coaching and fundraising or just being there for the athletes to talk.

Santana Schneider

Area Managment Team - Youth Representative

Deb Thompson

Area Managment Team - Fundraising Coordinator

Shelly Schon

Area Managment Team - Member

Lark Welch

Area Managment Team - Member