What People are Saying
For six years in the 1990s I had the opportunity to serve on the Special Olympics Hawaii Board of Directors, the last two years as Chairman. I now serve as a Director Emeritus. Having worked with the current CEO and staff of Special Olympics Hawaii and knowing the scope of the program, I would like to give my support for building the Special Olympics Hawaii Sports and Wellness Center in Kapolei.
Hawaii Special Olympics is proposing funding support (capital and not operating) for a new facility that will be adjacent to the Kroc Center, with which you are familiar. They have never had a facility like this before: it will be the fulfillment of a long-term strategic vision. When completed the center will, I believe, enable significant improvement in the efficiency and effectiveness of various aspects of their program which is now executed at a variety of venues. Let me explain.
Special Olympics creates communities of support in a variety of ways. A coach is recruited from the community to teach sports skills to athletes and to guide the team. Doctors volunteer to provide entrance physicals and other health screenings. Other community members are recruited to referee, keep score, provide refreshments, and transport athletes. Families come together to assist with sports activities, and their involvement transforms into an ongoing family network of support.
In this special way, Special Olympics moves beyond sports training or competition. It becomes a vehicle for bringing community members together, for changing attitudes, and for giving individuals a chance to achieve and succeed both on and beyond the playing field.
I believe that construction of this facility will make Kapolei the focal point for all Special Olympics activities and become a “win–win” for both the Kapolei vision and the Special Olympics vision. I am certain this volunteer effort would thrive in our Kapolei community. It benefits their athletes, but it also benefits our entire community. Thank you for your consideration of this important request by Hawaii Special Olympics.
Clinton R. Churchill
Zoe Ann, my autistic and OCD daughter, went through the beginning of her life with tremendous difficulty. Every day was a challenge at school…there was no teacher that could make her life any easier and have control of her behavior. This continued from elementary, middle, and eventually on to high school.
The only time my wife and I have seen remarkable changes was when she became involved with Special Olympics. We realized that things drastically changes at home, and at school.
She became physically fit, and was responsible to get to sleeping on time, which led to better behavior. This became a positive outcome.
With this Special Olympics Hawaii Sports Complex, it will give her a place to be herself and a place to exercise out her daily struggles that many of these athletes experience.
This complex is so very much over due, with the intellectually disables population growing every day. We, as parents, look for ways to better our child. I truly believe that Special Olympics is the reason Zoe Ann is now such a well behaved and very successful and productive athlete – as well as my precious daughter.
I give my heart to Special Olympics because they gave their hearts to Zoe Ann so she could be like everyone else, a productive human being.
Nathan Horie - Parent
My name is Roderick Green, and I am a Sergeant for the Kauai Police Department currently assigned to Community Relations. In my job capacity, I directly associate with Special Olympic athletes by leading the Kauai leg of the Law Enforcement Torch Run, as well as my participation in the annual Cop on Top fundraiser. What I would like to do is take a moment and explain how I initially got involved in Special Olympics, which occurred prior to my Community Relations assignment.
A few years ago at Wailua Homesteads Park here on Kauai, I was approached by a woman who saw me holding a basketball. The woman explained to me that she was the coach of a Special Olympics basketball team, and asked if I wouldn’t mind helping her coach. She told me their practice schedule and said how appreciative she would be if I could help. The one thing she mentioned that caught my attention was her telling me “I don’t know anything about basketball. I don’t even like basketball”. Those statements made me question what would drive a person to become so immersed in something that they weren’t very knowledgeable about, let alone didn’t particularly care for.
I had never actually coached a team in any sport, let alone Special Olympic athletes, so I was a bit hesitant at first. I decided to show up to the practice with the intent only to observe. When I got there, I was enthusiastically introduced as “Coach Rod is here to help us out”. Needless to say I was shocked by the introduction. What was really moving to me though was the expression on every single athlete’s face when they were told I was there to teach and coach them. At that moment was the first time I understood how someone could become so immersed in something that they weren’t very knowledgeable about. The athletes have a way of drawing you in with their competitive drive, innocence, motivation, and overall enthusiasm.
I ended up building a strong rapport with each player on the Wailua Imua basketball team. I have since assisted in coaching them in soccer and softball as well.
I recently found out about the possibility of Oahu building a Special Olympics Sports and Wellness Center. I just want to state that I emphatically endorse this idea. There are endless possibilities by having a facility such as this. I think it would not only be beneficial to the athletes, but for the community at large. I see this as an investment for our athletes which will pay off for everyone in the long run. While I would hope a center like this could eventually be built on Kauai, Oahu is the most logical location for the initial building.
I appreciate you taking the time to read my letter. I hope my endorsement of the Special Olympics Sports and Wellness Center will be taken into consideration.
Sergeant Roderick Green
I’ve been able to see and feel the effect that the Athletes and Volunteers have had on me and many ofmy co-workers who have also participated in the events previously mentioned. To see our athletes side by side with our Police Officers in a racing canoe and literally paddling their hearts out, and to see the expressions as they cross the finish line, is simply “priceless”.
In Kona most of our athletes are older adults, and a few of them work at various businesses around the Kona area. One athlete in particular is Adrian Cleintuar who works at the local Safeway Supermarket as a bag & cart attendant. I see him often when I’m shopping in Safeway and when we make contact with each other it’s always been a “hug” and a “blow it up” fist bump and of course a short conversation to see how his day is going. This of course has been going on for several years now, and most of the time my wife Tammie who is usually with me reminds me that Adrian is working and we both end up greeting him.
Because of this courtship with Adrian, I’d like to share a story of a time when I was assigned to drive one of our brand new Blue and White transport vehicles in the Annual 4th of July Parade, and while standing-by waiting for the parade to start I met up with Adrian and his Dad, Eric. While talking to them Adrian asked me if he could ride with me, and without hesitation I said “of course”. So minutes later here we were driving down the parade route with Adrian totally excited and his body half way out the passenger window waving to all the spectators. Soon he would find himself on the PA microphone shouting to all the people in his best Texas drawl “Lets get her Done”, as the siren blared in the background. Of course most of the spectators in the parade route were familiar with Adrian because of his working at Safeway, so he was acknowledged by many. At the end of the parade route I had to get out of my car to direct traffic for a few minutes and while I did this, Adrian stayed in his seat.
When I returned I noticed that the microphone that he was now holding was not the one he was holding earlier, so I asked him if he said anything on it to which he answered yes. So as to not make a big deal of it, I called another Officer to see if he had heard someone over the police radio. The Officer answered by saying he heard a voice say “Let’s get her Done”, of course I had to let out a good laugh along with Adrian who of course had no idea what we were laughing about. I certainly wasn’t about to say anything because it was evident that this was one of Adrian’s most glorious moments, and little did I know it would also be one of my most glorious moments as well. The feeling I got after that evening was indeed “priceless”, and every time I share that story it’s always accompanied with a good laugh.
We as Law Enforcement Officers unfortunately see the “bad side” of many people we come in contact
with, but it’s instances like that 4th of July day in which I was able to light up the life of a Special Olympics Athlete like Adrian that makes up for all the negative effects that some times comes with our work. It is also the reason why I still participate in as many events involving Special Olympics as I can, and will continue to do so as long as the Good Lord allows me to do so. As a believer of the Almighty God, I know that people like Adrian and all the many others like him who suffer the same struggle are even more of Gods Gifts then we all are. So it is with this thought in mind that I ask you and the SHOPO State Board to consider the impact that many of us from Law Enforcement have felt over the years with our participation with Hawaii Special Olympics, and most especially the Athletes themselves. We’ve had the privilege of “touching” their lives, but more importantly they’ve “touched” ours.
Me Ke Aloha Pumehana,
Rollin (aka; Bruddah Rollz)