Wednesday, November 29, 2023

New Hanover County family wins North Carolina Special Olympics Family of the Year

WILMINGTON — The Whisenant Family of New Hanover County has won this year’s Family of the Year!  The family has been involved in Special Olympics for 27 years, ever since their daughter Katherine was old enough to participate. Katherine has competed in numerous sports in New Hanover County over the years.  A few of the many sports she’s been a part of are basketball, bocce, bowling, soccer, swimming and cheerleading.

The Whisenant family. (Photo courtesy Tiffany Lesley)

Anita and Danny, Katherine’s parents, are involved with Special Olympics NHC year round. They are active in a variety of roles including coaching, volunteering, they sit on the local committee and also help with fundraising.

Anita helps organize, plan, implement events and even cooks for our athletes (500+) at several local programs. They help at the state games as well by driving, coaching and chaperoning for weekend trips. Anita is constantly going; she coaches cheerleading year round and will even coach other sports in the while still conducting cheer practices. Danny is also our local Polar Bear mascot.

However, it’s not just Anita and Danny. Anita helps with every speaking engagement and torch run bringing Katherine along to help volunteer. Katherine loves to jump in to help at local fundraisers, speaking engagements and events. Even though Katherine has her own challenges, she overcomes them by the help of her parents. They push her and encourage her to step out of her comfort zone. Katherine has grown and done so much on her own all because of the encouragement of her parents.

The Whisentant family dedicates countless hours to Special Olympics and they are always willing to help. They constantly strive for the athletes and others involved with the organization to achieve greatness.

To learn more about New Hanover County Special Olympics and how you can get involved, visit

-Content provided by Tiffany Lesley, Program Coordinator, New Hanover County Special Olympics

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