It’s a family affair!

“What brought you to Special Pops Tennis?” we ask all our volunteers. Some answers are pretty obvious, others less so. A desire to honor a dear friend, teacher, mentor and coach brought the Sutkus family our way this year. Jill and Michael Sutkus, daughter Julia (18) and son AJ (12) were looking for a way to celebrate Sue Scheer, a special needs teacher in the Fulton County schools who died tragically last year. “Every day, AJ and Julia would see her love and passion for her students. To honor her memory, we wanted to get involved as Sue always did.”

What better way to honor a special needs teacher than as a volunteer with Special Pops Tennis? Jill, Julia, and AJ jumped right in volunteering at the Country Club of Roswell training site. Their experience of playing tennis was an obvious asset. From the beginning, their ability to relate and encourage the athletes they worked with was inspiring. They were also first-time Unified Partners at the Special Olympics GA Summer Games 2 weeks ago – a true test of a new volunteer’s passion for the job!

“Our experience was nothing but fun. “We are continually amazed at the progress we see in the athletes and how excited they get when they hit that winner!” For Michael and Jill, seeing their kids encourage the athletes with hugs and high fives have been fun to watch. They also enjoy sharing with each other how the experience with an individual has impacted them in different ways. It has also made them want to do more as a family to get involved. Watch for the Sutkus family at future SPT events. They’ll be enjoying every minute. What a wonderful tribute for a special friend.