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Special Olympics announces new leader in Harford County

10:15 AM EST, November 26, 2012

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Special Olympics Maryland has named Stacy Alford as an area, county director team.

Alford was born and raised in Baltimore County. She moved to Harford County in 2008 and lives in the Forest Hill area of the county. She is a professional with a national strategic fundraising company who will bring her wealth of experience to the Harford County sub-program. As an aunt to her 8-year-old niece, Leah, with Down Syndrome, Alford also brings the value of personal experience with athletes with intellectual disabilities.

Alford is excited to lead the Harford management team and the 313 athletes it serves countywide. It is her goal to put strategies in place to retain current athlete and unified partners while recruiting many eligible athletes of all ages into the programs for underserved individuals in Harford County. Her professional background and strong organizational skills make this a great fit for Special Olympics and Harford County.

This change was prompted by the resignation of former Harford County Area Director Mike Watkins. Watkins has been a member of the Area County Management Team for more than 14 years. In this time he has taken on many positions, including the last seven years as the area/county director. Watkins will continue stay on and serve the area/county to provide continuity and leadership support. He continues to serve as a director at Harford County Parks and Recreation.

"I am excited to take on this new challenge in my life. This is a great opportunity to showcase the talents and skills that Special Olympics athletes possess," Alford said. "We will get the word out to those who are not aware of the many training and competitive opportunities that celebrate achievements of athletes and work to ensure the overall health, fitness and quality of life for individuals with disabilities."