Dreams are Only Dreams Unless We Take the Actions to Unfold Them
On Thursday, November 2, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northwestern Wisconsin is coming together to celebrate the power of youth mentoring at the 4th Annual Big Brothers Big Sisters Gala at the Florian Gardens. The BBBS Gala is the agency’s second largest fundraiser of the year and includes dinner, a silent auction, awards recognition and a keynote speech by 3-time Olympic Bobsledder Bill Schuffenhauer.
Executive Speakers Bureau has the honor of representing Bill at this event to help Big Brothers Big Sisters promote their mission of providing children facing adversity with strong and enduring, professionally supported 1-to-1 relationships that change their lives for the better, forever.
Bill Schuffenhauer has a unique story that fits perfectly with the vision of Big Brothers Big Sisters. As a former “Little” himself, and participant in the BBBS programs, he continues to work daily to ensure that all children achieve success in life. Bill grew up in Salt Lake City, Utah and as a child, his parents were drug addicts, and his mother was a prostitute who was often beaten in front of him. He had to steal, eat from trash cans, and once was caught trying to break into a bicycle store to try to steal something to sell for food.
Schuffenhauer’s maternal grandmother took him in as he was about to enter junior high in Roy, Utah. “She reminded me to never give up and always push on,” he said. Because of his grandmother’s influence, he began going to school and started to participate in track and field in his high school (Roy High), due to his great speed. He persevered to become an Olympian, and his coaches encouraged him greatly as well. He soon became a decathlete. He went to Weber State University and there he won the junior nationals in 1992. Additionally, he played American football in high school and was asked to play professionally in Florida.
Schuffenhauer’s Olympics dream as a track and field athlete came to an end in 2000. While training for 2000 Summer Olympics in Sydney, he suffered a bad ankle injury and he could barely walk. When his friend told him that the U.S. Olympic team was practicing bobsledding in Park City, Utah, he took the chance to go and observe. While there, the team members noticed his 6 foot, 200-pound frame and asked him he wanted to be a pusher. He accepted and trained with the team from then on. He later went on to win a silver medal in the 2002 Winter Olympics, and compete in 2006 and 2010.
Today, Bill Schuffenhauer travels the world as a motivational speaker focusing on the prevention of youth violence and drug abuse, the ability to face and overcome extreme obstacles, and the relationship between personal business practices and athletic accomplishments. Bill is delighted to share his story and message with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northwestern Wisconsin, and had this message for event participants:
To attend the 4th Annual Big Brother Big Sister Gala on November 2, visit their event website. And for more information on motivational speaker Bill Schuffenhauer, contact Executive Speakers Bureau at (901) 754-9404.