18 Dec In Remembrance: Iconic Fan and Game Changer Leslie Oakland
Leslie was, and her family is, a longtime fan and supporter of Special Olympics Montana. She developed a passion for our mission as a high school student with her mother in 1974. For nearly 45 years Leslie was our champion.
Leslie was a dedicated volunteer and through her families car dealership, City Motor Company, they were a significant year-round sponsor. When State Summer Games have been hosted in Great Falls (as they are currently, 2018-2020), Leslie had rallied City Motor Company employees to organize an extravagant theme-based Dance and Carnival for about 2,500 athletes, coaches, and family members.
In 1991-97, Leslie served two terms on the SOMT Board of Directors. During 1994-95 she served as Board Chairman. Most recently, Leslie served another term on the Board 2016-18, and had just been re-elected for a second term beginning 2019-2021
Leslie was pivotal in conceiving the MTN Chevy Raffle in 1993. 2019 will mark the 25th consecutive year that the raffle has generated funds to support local programs. City Motor Company in partnership with Denny Menholt Chevrolet have donated the grand prize, an all-new Chevy Silverado, every year. Over the life of this fundraiser, SOMT has raised more than $8.3 million.
“Leslie’s passion for our mission and love for the athletes inspired everyone. We are blessed to have had Leslie grace our lives.”, said SOMT President and CEO Bob Norbie.
What Leslie did, with support from her family and City Motor Company employees, to help shape and transform our movement during her life has been remarkable. Indeed, Leslie’s impact will make a difference for decades to come.
In remembrance of Leslie, we invite the Special Olympics Montana community of athletes, coaches, and families to join us for a celebration of her life on December 29, 11:00 a.m. at the Mansfield Theater, Great Falls, MT. Read more about Leslie Oakland