Leilani Shaffer was inducted into the Sports & Athletics Category in 2018.
Leilani Shaffer is a longtime volunteer coach and team manager with Special Olympics of Northern California. The San Lorenzo resident’s association with Special Olympics began when she was looking for a sports program for her active, developmentally disabled son, Jake. In 15 years, Leilani has become a driving force in the exponential growth of Special Olympics sports activity in Alameda County. Currently, Leilani works with 100 athletes, 30 percent more than she had a few years ago. She continues to grow the ranks by bringing the same belief to Special Olympics that she brought to raising Jake as a single mother: that anything is possible. Not only is she reaching athletes and affording opportunities to develop self-esteem through sports, she is bringing hope to families who yearn for the day when their children can thrive in a society that fully embraces them.