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Jensen will be honored at Special Olympics dinner

Valerie Jensen

Valerie Jensen of Ridgefield will be honored at the Special Olympics Connecticut Hall of Fame Dinner — Celebrating 45 Years of Memories on Wednesday, March 20, at the Aqua Turf Country Club, Plantsville.

The annual event honors extraordinary athletes, volunteers and supporters who demonstrate leadership, spirit and selflessness, inspire joy through sport and promote inclusion and respect for individuals of all abilities.

Ms. Jensen will receive the Unsung Hero Award, given to volunteers who work tirelessly behind the scenes for Special Olympics Connecticut with no expectation of recognition or reward.

She has been involved in Special Olympics for more than 20 years. Her younger sister, Hope, is a Special Olympics athlete, and she and her family have participated in Special Olympics programs from the time that Hope was a child.

More than 10 years ago, Ms. Jensen organized a team of friends and family members she named “Hope’s Friends” to participate in Special Olympics’ annual Westport Penguin Plunge fund-raiser and has raised thousands of dollars to benefit the organization. She attained the title of top fund-raiser at this event, generating more than $8,000 in donations for Special Olympics in one year.

Ms. Jensen is currently president of SPHERE Inc., a Ridgefield-based organization whose mission is to improve the quality of life for adults with developmental disabilities. Many of SPHERE’s members participate in Special Olympics.

Tickets, which must be reserved in advance, are $25 per person and may be obtained by calling 203-230-1201, ext. 276, or emailing kellib@soct.org.

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