2015 HAUPERT HUMANITARIAN AWARD
Steven J. Milligan ’86
The Haupert Humanitarian Award honors an alumna or alumnus who has rendered outstanding service in the cause of human welfare. The Alumni Association is honored to present the 2015 Haupert Humanitarian Award to Steven Milligan ’86 in recognition of his founding of TOPSPORTS, which provides social and athletic activities for children with special needs.
During a time in which there was very little awareness in regards to children with special needs, Steven Milligan ’86 founded TOPSPORTS to provide free athletic activities and social interaction for special needs children and their families. Since its formation in 2000, TOPSPORTS has gone from a soccer program serving six children to an organization that offers several recreational and athletic activities for more than 500 special needs children throughout Philadelphia, Bucks, and Montgomery counties.
During his time at Moravian College, Milligan was a member of the men’s soccer team, including the 1982-83 Moravian College Hall of Fame team. After graduation, Milligan worked during the day in the insurance industry. However, he discovered the isolation families with special needs children experience, as well as the desperation those families feel to find recreational programs where their children can be accepted for whom they are. As a result, Milligan founded TOPSPORTS.
TOPSoccer was the first program offered by TOPSPORTS, which has since branched out to include basketball, bowling, golf clinics, swimming events, and even financial service seminars for parents. Each year, between 5-75 children participate in each of these programs, where they can develop the social skills sports offer and their families can network and share experiences and information.
Milligan currently sits on Committees for the Autism Cares Foundation and also works with Athletes Helping Athletes and the Special Olympics. In May 2015, Milligan and his wife, Ann Marie, with the help of other local families, started Craters for Life, a job program for special need adults and young adults.