John Completes Athlete Leadership Program with the Special Olympics - John's Crazy Socks

John Completes Athlete Leadership Program with the Special Olympics

John Cronin has completed the New York Special Olympics Athlete Leadership Council program. Special Olympics New York held a graduation ceremony for the athlete leaders on Friday as they prepared for the Fall State Games in Glens Falls, New York. 

Athlete Leadership Council Graduates

The Special Olympics New York Athlete Leadership Program gives athletes an expanded voice and greater opportunity to participate in the organization’s strategic planning and day-to-day operations while also providing athlete leaders with advanced training and life-skills development. 

Speaking at the graduation ceremony, Special Olympics New York President & CEO Stacey Hengsterman told the group how proud she was of them and noted how far they had come since beginning the program. Bill Collins, the Mayor of Glens Falls, who had worked with the group in his previous role as Director of Sports Programs for Special Olympics, greeted them warmly and reminded them of their ability to achieve their dreams. 

John with Stacey and Bill from Special Olympics

“I am so proud to be a leader for the Special Olympics,” said John. “I love the Special Olympics and want to do all I can to give back to Special Olympics. The Leadership Council has helped me become a better leader.” 

The Special Olympics Offers So Much to People with Intellectual Developmental Disabilities 

At its core, the Special Olympics is about training and competition. But it offers so much more. It sponsors unified sports programs in the schools, offers critical health screen for people with disabilities and provides leadership training, among other initiatives. Athlete Leadership Council members also serve as spokespersons for the organization and as liaisons to athletes in their local communities. 

John loves the Special Olympics

John Loves the Special Olympics

If you know him, you know that John Cronin, co-founder and inspiration for John’s Crazy Socks, loves the Special Olympics. He began playing Special Olympic soccer at age five, so he has participated in the Special Olympics for 21 years. Today, John competes in four sports: soccer, basketball, track and field and snowshoe. Each year, he does a Polar Plunge to support the Special Olympics. 

Mark X. Cronin, John’s co-founder and father, said, “We have seen the difference the Special Olympics has made in John’s life and so many other lives. Through the leadership conference John learned about what it means to be a leader and gained both confidence and skills.”    

Many of John’s colleagues at John’s Crazy Socks are Special Olympic athletes and several other employees, including Mark, have helped coach in the Special Olympics. 

John’s Crazy Socks Gives Back to the Special Olympics

At John’s Crazy Socks, we have a mission to spread happiness. John says the keys to happiness are gratitude and doing for others. Thus, our Giving Back Program is an essential part of our mission. Supporting the Special Olympics is very important to us. In fact, John’s Crazy Socks has donated over $115,000 to Special Olympics New York. 

John donates to the Special Olympics

We start by donating 5 percent of our earnings to the Special Olympics. John’s Crazy Socks donates 5 percent from the sale of our Sock of the Month Club to the Special Olympics. And we donate 10 percent from the sale of our Polar Plunge Socks and Shark Socks to the Special Olympics. John designed the Shark Socks in honor of his basketball and track team, the Commack Sharks.

John’s Crazy Socks is a social enterprise with a mission to spread happiness. Started by John Cronin and his father, Mark X. Cronin, John’s Crazy Socks is now the world’s largest sock store. Every day, they show what people with differing abilities can accomplish.

John graduates Athlete Leadership

About Special Olympics New York

Special Olympics New York is the largest state chapter in the country, serving more than 51,000 athletes across New York with year-round sports training, athletic competition, and health screenings. The organization also partners with about 250 schools statewide to offer Unified Sports, where students with and without disabilities compete as teammates. All Special Olympics New York programs are offered at no cost to athletes, their families or caregivers. The organization has earned the Platinum Seal of Transparency from, making it one of the most trusted charities in the business nationally. For additional information about Special Olympics New York, to learn more about getting involved, or to make a donation, visit

About John’s Crazy Socks 

John’s Crazy Socks was inspired by John Lee Cronin, a young man with Down syndrome, and his love of colorful and fun socks—what he calls his “crazy socks.” He and his father, Mark X. Cronin, started the company as a social enterprise with a mission of Spreading Happiness™. With more than 4,000 socks, John’s Crazy Socks is now the world’s largest sock store. More than half their employees have a differing ability, and their Giving Back program has raised over $550,000 for charity partners like the Special Olympics, the National Down Syndrome Society, and the Autism Society of America. Most of all, they are Spreading Happiness™. 

For more information about John’s Crazy Socks, visit our webpage, Facebook page, Instagram account or YouTube channel. You can also contact us at 631-760-5625 or via email at


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