The Vaughn family.

Sharrod Vaughn has been named the winner of the Shaw Design-A-Rug Challenge, a creative competition that was open to all athletes who took part in the Special Olympics Georgia 2011 State Fall Games, Oct. 21 – 23. Vaughn, a 20-year-old Acworth, Ga., resident, who is autistic, has been a practicing artist for years, enjoying both drawing and painting in addition to a variety of other mediums. Vaughn was awarded with a 5’x8’ Shaw area rug showcasing his design. The same rug was also donated to Special Olympics Georgia for display in their Georgia headquarters.

“The Shaw Design-A-Rug Challenge was a fun way to acknowledge the diverse skills and talents of the Special Olympics Georgia athletes,” said Shaw Executive Vice President of Operations Hal Long, who spoke during the 2011 Special Olympics Georgia Opening Ceremony event. “The creativity was inspiring and we were very pleased to deliver the winning rug to Sharrod, a very talented and passionate art student.”

More than 70 drawings were submitted during the challenge. Sharrod’s winning hand-drawn rug design was inspired by New York City graffiti and trains, two of his favorite subjects. Sharrod, who was born in New York and spent several years there, incorporates graffiti into many of his paintings and drawings.

Vaughn holds up his winning design.

The Shaw Design-A-Rug Challenge was designed to provide a unique Dalton, Georgia-inspired educational experience through enticing creativity and fun for the 1,330 athletes who participated in the games. Shaw was an event sponsor in 2011, supporting the Opening Ceremony and awards presentations for all sporting competitions.

“Special Olympics Georgia was honored to be supported by Shaw during the State Fall Games and through the Shaw Design-A-Rug activity for the athletes,” said Special Olympics Georgia CEO, Georgia Milton-Sheats. “The Shaw employees and their families came out in force all weekend and made a tremendous impact on all of the athletes and coaches. We hope to continue our relationship between Shaw and Special Olympics Georgia and appreciate being selected to have our athletes participate in the contest.”

This past 2011 State Fall Games consisted of a variety of sports competitions, including softball, bocce, cycling, long distance walking & running and golf. Shaw associates volunteered during competitions at select venues throughout Dalton, Ga., including Heritage Point Park, Nob North Golf Club and Downtown Dalton Square. The 2012 Special Olympics Georgia Fall Games will be hosted in Dalton, Ga., Oct. 13 – 14.