MICHAEL SHEAHAN ‘88 AWARDED FR. AQUINAS COLGAN, O.CARM., HUMANITARIAN OF THE YEAR AWARD
Congratulations Michael Sheahan '88, Humanitarian of the Year for his dedication to the Special Olympics. To read more about his work with the community. Click here to read more…
Michael Sheahan came to Mount Carmel from Christ the King grammar school in Chicago. Like a lot of Carmel guys, Mike Sheahan is a life-long South Sider and is oldest son of Michael, Sr., and Nancy Sheahan. Mike’s four younger brothers all graduated from Mount Carmel, TJ ‘89, Tim ‘93, Patrick ‘95 and Ryan ’95. Mike’s older sister Katie is a graduate of Mother McAuley. As the oldest boy, Mike relished every opportunity he had to torture his younger brothers and their friends, some of which still carry emotional scars to this day.
While at Mount Carmel, Mike would be the first to admit that he was not a stand-out athlete or student. He was your typical average high school kid, being present long enough to receive his high school diploma in 1988.
After Mount Carmel, Mike began working as a legislative aide for Alderman Pat Huels. Huels sent Mike to work for State Senator Pamela Munizzi, who was the Director of Governmental Affairs for the Chicago Park District. It was during his work for Munizzi that Mike was introduced to Special Olympics. With Special Olympics, Mike found an instant connection with the athletes as well as the administrators and volunteers who helped them. He also loved the fact that three Catholic Chicagoans—Ann (McGlone) Burke, Chicago resident, Eunice Shriver and Mayor Richard J. Daley—started Special Olympics in 1968, and that the first Games were held in Chicago’s own Soldier Field.
The Special Olympics was Mike’s calling, and unlike his high school years, Mike wasn’t just “present” for this part of his life. He became a stand-out, getting deeply involved with Special Olympics, participating in the earliest Polar Plunges (Special Olympics largest fundraiser), volunteering his time whenever he could, donating money whenever possible, and getting friends and family involved as well.
After many years of volunteering, Mike decided to take his involvement a step further and won a seat on the Board of Directors for Special Children’s Charities/Special Olympics Chicago. In 2006, he was elected President, serving a 2 year term limit. Since his term as President ended, Mike has remained on the Board and currently serves as its Executive Vice President. Along with other Board members, Mike often advocates for Special Olympics in Springfield and promotes the athletes whenever possible, even helping place them with jobs throughout the communities in which they live. He also wears his bright red Special Olympics jacket with pride.
Mike will be the first to tell you that Special Olympics is the greatest gift that Chicago has introduced to the world, and he is extremely proud to be part of that legacy especially as Special Olympics will be celebrating its 50th Anniversary in 2018. Please join Mount Carmel High School in congratulating Michael Sheahan, 2017 Fr. Aquinas Colgan Humanitarian of the Year.