The thermometer read triple-digits and the wind was fierce at the 2018 Special Olympics Northern California (SONC) Summer Games earlier this year, but that didn’t stop the athletes from having the time of their lives.
Nor did it stop Wells Fargo from supporting in full force.
More than 20 Wells Fargo volunteers were on hand to support the SONC Summer Games, which took place from June 24-26 at UC Davis. SONC offers free year-round sports training and competitions, inclusive schools programs and vital health resources to children and adults with intellectual disabilities, empowering them to reach for their dreams and become the best of themselves both on and off the field. The Summer Games is the largest annual competition, hosting more than 1,000 athletes and coaches from 30 different counties.
“We’re here to do whatever we can to support this amazing day,” said Nuzha Bukhari, regional vice president for Wells Fargo’s Mt. Diablo’s Regional Commercial Banking Office and SONC board member. “We have a booth set up here and I think we’ll try to do a bigger one next year, because the interaction with the athletes and their families has just been so amazing.”
Wells Fargo, a Silver Sponsor for the Summer Games, sponsored and took part in Olympic Village and had a station set up to interact with the athletes, pass out swag items and show their support for the cause. Volunteers also assisted with track and field events and took part in the Opening Ceremony that kicked off the weekend’s festivities.
“This is my second year here and it’s my favorite event to be volunteering,” said Genese Jones, administrative assistant to Andy Wong, the president of Northern and Central California Business Banking. “Wells Fargo’s vision and values are really strong about the community; it’s who we are. We had people travel here from the Bay Area and Central Valley just to volunteer.”
Both Bukhari and Jones credited Special Olympics’ unique spirit and inclusive environment as a driving force behind both Wells Fargo’s continued sponsorship and the impressive turnout of volunteers. Employees are not required to volunteer and all of the logistical efforts and travel are done on their own time, outside of work responsibilities.
“Wells Fargo has always been very involved with our local communities and focuses on getting our local team members involved with whatever they are most passionate about,” explained Bukhari. “For me, this is an organization that I’ve always thought so highly of. I got involved a few years ago and have now been able to pass the word along through the organization to get this kind of showing here today.”
Giving up a weekend and traveling hundreds of miles in some cases can seem like a lot – but for this Wells Fargo group, it’s well worth it to give back and share in the joy of Special Olympics.
“It’s about being a part of our communities and, for me, being involved with organizations that are amazing examples of teamwork, diversity and, frankly, winning, which is a big part of this day today,” said Bukhari.
“I’ve never been to an event with so many kind, caring people. Everyone’s happy, enjoying themselves, being active out in the sun, and just having a really great time.”
Founded in 1852 and headquartered in San Francisco, Wells Fargo provides banking, insurance, investments, mortgage, and consumer and commercial finance through more than 8,050 locations, 13,000 ATMs, the internet, and mobile banking, and has offices in 38 countries and territories to support customers who conduct business in the global economy. With approximately 265,000 team members, Wells Fargo serves one in three households in the United States. For more information, visit www.wellsfargo.com
Interested in getting your company involved in supporting Special Olympics? Please contact Kathryn Morrissey at KathrynM@sonc.org