In 1996, Ian Rawn was nominated as a community hero for his volunteerism in Little Rock, Ark.
Ian’s mom Cinde explains it was at a time of transition for her son in which he was experiencing the heartbreak of not being able to keep up with his traditional peers.
“We picked him up early from school two days a week and took him to another school to let him volunteer in a classroom for special needs children with more complex issues,” Cinde said. “It was to help him see how much he has to offer this world and how much he matters.”
Cinde notes that Ian was a fabulous book reader, lunch time feeding support, and aide for wheelchair children at playground time.
That volunteerism won him a JCPenny Community Hero Award, which in turn gave him a slot to carry the 1996 Summer Games Olympic torch.
“He was privileged to present the flame to the state of Arkansas and light the cauldron for the presentation,” said Cinde.