BOULDER, Colo. — Coloradans can now apply for a new license plate in honor of Teri Leiker, who died in the Boulder King Soopers shooting on March 22 after working there for more than 30 years.
The Teri Leiker Act, signed by Gov. Jared Polis on Sunday, creates a Special Olympics license plate for all motor vehicles under some conditions.
People who wish to apply must have donated to the non-profit organization. The resident also has to pay two additional one-times fees to get the plate; according to the state's website. The fees will go to both the highway users tax fund and the licensing services cash fund.
To keep in compliance with the state, the Special Olympics must:
- Be headquartered in Colorado;
- Have existed for at least 40 years;
- Provide year-round sports training and athletic competitions for children and adults with intellectual disabilities;
- Collaborate with schools throughout Colorado to bring students together through shared activities that include sports, leadership opportunities, and health education and fitness;
- Ensure that the donation is spent in Colorado to support athletes with intellectual disabilities.
Leiker was a big hugger with a big smile, according to family members who released a statement Thursday, saying that she began working at King Soopers in 1989 and died at the only place she had ever worked.
They believe seeing what happened would have been overwhelming for her and said if she had survived, she may have never again been the "wonderful person" she was.
>> Below: Funeral for King Soopers employee lost in Boulder shooting
For many years, her family said, she went to the Dark Horse for karaoke every Thursday night.
"She wasn't a great singer, but she had fun," her family said.
Leiker was diagnosed with a cognitive disability at age three but was "strong-willed" and overcame any obstacle, her family said.
She graduated from Longmont High School's special education program and, at age 21, began living independently with help from Imagine Colorado.
Allan Wooley, who worked with Leiker at the store and participated in the Special Olympics with her in track and field and skiing, said everybody at the store loved her and was still in shock.
"She was funny. Always going to remember her smile and her laugh. She used to laugh a lot," he said. "That’s what I’m going to miss about her. Her smile made everybody feel good inside every day when she was working.”
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