VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. - She may look like a wicked witch, but don't let her costume fool you---this local woman has been been busy for nearly two decades taking action for Special Olympics Virginia!
Her name is Wendy Ward and if you were down at the Virginia Beach oceanfront this past weekend you may have seen her in the Polar Plunge costume parade. She actually won the costume contest for how she was decked out like the witch from the Wizard of Oz and she even had a friend dressed up like a flying monkey to accompany her.
While her costume may be of a wicked witch, she has a heart of gold, which you quickly find out when you ask her why it's so important for her to support the Special Olympians, "Because they inspire me....I think they're amazing. They are smart, kind, hard working and probably the most inspirational people I've ever been blessed to know in my life."
Wendy recently organized a fundraiser at the Lockside Bar and Grill in Chesapeake benefitting Special Olympics.
We found out about it thanks to this email from Kimille Johnson, "She is one of the most outgoing, loving sincere and fun people you could ever hope to meet."
Wendy's been a dedicated champion for Special Olympics for 18 years which is why News 3 presented her with a People Taking Action award.
Her reaction? "To me it's about the Special Olympians and all the people who support me every year--- giving anything from a dollar to five dollars to 500 dollars, which was my biggest sponsor."
Speaking of sponsors, News 3 has a community partner Southern Bank and we presented Wendy with a $300 Visa gift card from Southern Bank.
Wendy was shocked and touched but wanted to give it instead to a Special Olympian who had spoken at one of her fundraisers....a fundraiser that raised over a thousand dollars and in total, Wendy's efforts raised $6,600.
Not bad for a not so wicked witch!