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Meet Nikki Stonaker

Nikki is a Sheriff’s deputy in Louisiana and can be seen doing the men’s weight during the Spartan events 💪🏼

What is your occupation? I am a sheriff's deputy.

How long have you been an OCA? Since the fall of last year.

How did you get involved? In 2017, I began running with another non-profit that raised money for one of my coworkers. He was severely injured in an ambush in 2016. I stayed with that team after they helped him; but while we were doing great things by assisting with financial needs of fallen and wounded officers and their families, I felt like something was missing. I found that connection in OEW by having the opportunity to run with honorees at races and see them overcome obstacles and regain confidence in their abilities.

Most memorable moment? I have two that are hard for me to choose between. Earlier this year, Jonathan Lopez tasked a bunch of OCAs over to the New Image Youth Center in Orlando. The objective was to build The Give Team an OCR playground to train on; if funds and time allow, they often run events with OEW. Lopez wasn't sure what job to give me and told me to "Figure it out". I left that day having bonded with a very sweet 6-year old that showed me all about the mission of NIYC.

The other is the moments post-race at the Spartan Super in Jacksonville with honoree Drew Stokes. We both ended up separated from the rest of the group as everyone took off to clean up; we were able to share about our experiences that day - he as an honoree and me as my first time running with an honoree. I showed up to be a supporter for Drew and his wife; and I left having been encouraged by Drew.

Why should people become OCAs for OEW? OEW is fully run by volunteers and all of our fundraising efforts go into the programs that assist them directly. I've seen the impact it's had on the lives of honorees and I truly believe OEW is helping save the lives of a population with a high suicide rate. Plus, there is the bonus of running with a bunch of friends - you're never alone on the course and you're on a mission that is greater than any medal you can get at the end of the race.

What’s the next OEW event you’re planning on attending? The Spartan Beast in Dallas in October will most likely be my next event.

Thank you for being a part of our family, Nikki! We love having you.

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