MILAN, Illinois---When Mark Beckwith was chief of police in Milan, the department started to get involved with the Special Olympics.
He says one dispatcher is still leading the way.
"Tammy has a big heart."
Tammy Bedford helped to organize the department's involvement in events like Over the Edge, and the Torch Run.
"When we started the Polar Plunge a few years ago she was the energy to get people involved."
Thanks to fundraisers, the Illinois chapter does not charge athletes or their families to take part in Special Olympics.
The athletes are truly Olympians they really are. We have the connection here with the Police Commissioners son is an Olympian."
Today Beckwith is getting help from Olympian Mathew Stout, to help with the surprise.
"Mathew here has money for you on behalf of Ascentra Credit Union and WQAD its their Pay It Forward. There you go $300 for everything that you do for Special Olympics we appreciate it. Thank you Mathew."
Tammy was taken back by the surprise, saying "definitely did not expect this today they caught me off guard today. I'm very grateful for it and really appreciate it."
And Mathew, along with other Special Olympians and their families appreciate all that she does.
"Very blessed to have her the Milan Police Department as part of there team here, but also blessed for her to have that passion that she has for Special Olympics."
A passion that is helping athletes around the area reach their goals.
If you know of someone who deserves to pay it forward, just make your nomination by clicking here.