Former Director of the Special Olympics St. Mary’s County, Mary Lu Bucci Receives 2020 Lifetime Achievement Award

June 9, 2020

The St. Mary’s County Commission for Women is proud to award the 2020 Lifetime Achievement Award to Mary Lu Bucci.

Mary Lu Bucci, the former director of the Special Olympics St. Mary’s County, was unanimously voted as the 2020 Lifetime Achievement honoree by the members of the St. Mary’s County Commission for Women for her years of service in community outreach, strengthening, and capacity building.

The Special Olympics is a nonpartisan organization that supports policies, legislation, and practices that guarantee the rights, full participation, and integration of people with intellectual disabilities. The Special Olympics program offers year round sports programs for children and adults, empowering athletes to be valued members of their community and respected members of society.

Mrs. Bucci first became involved with the Special Olympics when her son wanted to participate as an athlete, but after seeing the joy and network of friends provided by the group, she quickly became an avid volunteer.

In 1990, Mrs. Bucci became the County Director of the Special Olympics. For 25 years, she oversaw all aspects of the Special Olympics including administration, fundraising, and coordinating over 300 athletes participating in 14 different sports and twice as many volunteers.

Mrs. Bucci has been integral to the increased participation of St. Mary’s County’s Special Olympics athletes in local games, state games, and world games. Teams have traveled and competed throughout the state of Maryland, as well as in Connecticut, Iowa, North Carolina, Washington, Nebraska, California, New Jersey, China, Japan, Greece, Ireland, the Netherlands, and Abu Dhabi.

While the focus of Special Olympics is the athletes’ participation in sports, Mrs. Bucci emphasizes the broader purpose. Mrs. Bucci has observed the progress made around the country in eliminating the stigma, stereotypes, isolation, and discrimination that people with intellectual disabilities face – most importantly around access to sport, health, and education opportunities and services.

Although Mrs. Bucci retired as Director in 2015, she continues to support the Special Olympics. She especially appreciates the support of all of her family over the years as well as their continuous volunteer hours.

St. Mary’s County has much to be grateful to Mrs. Bucci for as a result of her dedication and tireless energy in making the Special Olympics such a valuable resource to our community.