Brave on the Beach

Held January 30th, 2023

Sandy Point State Park, Annapolis MD

Brave in the Attempt Talks uses a groundbreaking personal story-telling platform in a "TED Talk" style format to encourage those with disabilities to serve as mentors and role models for others. Using the Unified Leadership model, we have invited Unified pairs of speakers to share how being Unified encourages people to change their attitudes and behaviors to create meaningful inclusion in their communities and organizations for all people.

Unified Leadership teaches leaders in the community to value, include and enable people with intellectual disabilities.


Abby Gibbons & Sharon Myrick

Abby Gibbons is an athlete from the eastern shore and started swimming with the Upper Shore when she was six years old. She also competes in kayaking and golf skills but her favorite sport is basketball. When Abby was in high school, she also participated in unified tennis, unified strength and conditioning, and unified bocce. Abby is currently on the Athlete Leadership Council, Health Messenger Team, and Stewardship Team. She is a former Brave in the Attempt Speaker and Capitol Hill Day Speaker. She is also a Super Plunger representing TEAM JIMMY with her partners Jamie and Sharon Myrick. When Abby is not doing Special Olympics activities, she likes to ballroom dance and watch Disney movies. Abby works at a deli and often prepares salads and lunch specialties and she loves to bake homemade chocolate chip cookies. Abby’s favorite quote is from the musical Wicked, "Everyone deserves the chance to fly!”.


Danielle & Robert Marino

Danielle has been a Special Olympics Maryland athlete for 15 years, competing in cheer, downhill skiing, and swimming. Robert, her father, is an architectural engineer and past President of Mueller Associates, Inc., an engineering firm that designs mechanical and electrical systems for museum and higher education facilities. Bob has served on the SOMD board for the past 4 years and is the current Special Olympics Maryland Board Chair. For the last few years, together both Danielle and Bob participate, along with the rest of their family, in the Polar Bear Plunge and Deep Creek Dunk to raise money for Danielle and her fellow athletes. Last summer, Danielle won a bronze medal in swimming at the 2022 USA Games in the 100-meter freestyle. Danielle is also an Athlete Ambassador in the Leadership program for SOMD.


Adam & Marianne Hays

Adam and Marianne Hays have been involved with Special Olympics Maryland for 27 years and have been around the Plunging world since 2005. Adam is a Special Olympics athlete from Frederick, Maryland and competes in 6 sports throughout the year with Cycling and Soccer being his favorites. His mother, Marianne has been there to cheer and encourage him on anything in his life. As past Super Plunger, Adam has plunged over 260 times and raised over $27,000 for his fellow athletes even in the frigid temperatures. Marianne was a team Mom that would always be there to hand out towels and cheer Adam on. He has overcome many challenges through hospitalizations to school and living independently - yet his mother is always there to support him. Tonight they will be talking sharing their personal story of how they Brrrave on the Beach and are excited to be part of it!


Stacey Hull & Tressa Andrews

Stacey Hull started as an athlete in Special Olympics Maryland in 2011. In recent years Stacey has been much more than an athlete. She has become an assistant coach for her Special Olympics Harford County Bulldogs softball team and volunteers at many events in her county and at a state level. She was selected to be an athlete International Law Enforcement Torch Runner for the World Games in Berlin, Germany in 2023. One of only 10 athletes from around the world. Stacey graduated from C Milton Wright in 1989 with Tressa Andrews, who were reunited through the Plunge. Tressa is the School Director of Trinity Episcopal Preschool in Towson MD. The Special Olympics holds a special place in her heart. Tressa is also a hon, hons are about love and support for their fellow neighbors. Her hon name is Mary “Spicy” McCormick and she is a part of the Rav Hons who love the Ravens and dem O’s!


Michael Heup & Frank Tewey

Michael Heup is a Special Olympics Maryland Athlete from Davidson, Maryland. Michael began his Special Olympics career in 2001. He has participated in Soccer, Floor Hockey, Basketball, Bowling, Track and Field, Tennis, and snowshoeing. Frank Tewey has been a police officer for 32+ years and most recently served as a Colonel in the Anne Arundel County Sheriff's office. Frank Tewey is a past Maryland Law Enforcement Torch Run (LETR) President. Michael was a Special Olympics Maryland LETR Athlete Liaison for three years. Traveling to international conferences in the Bahamas, New Orleans, LA, and Orlando, Fla. He has represented Maryland and US Law Enforcement as a Torch Runner in Austria for the 2017 Special Olympics World Games where he was an ambassador by running and carrying the torch spreading the word about the great work Law Enforcement does for Special Olympics athletes around the world.