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Special Olympics Hawaii E-Newsletter
August 2017

Veterans United Foundation Celebrates National Giving Week

Our team received a surprise from the team of Veterans United Home Loans of Hawaii, which surprised us with a check for $10,000! The donations were part of Veterans United Foundation's national Week of Giving campaign in which more than $1 million will be given to charities across the country between now and the end of the year. Hawai’i is the 12th stop of the Week of Giving campaign and is near the halfway point, in which $600,000 has been given away.

"Bringing the Week of Giving to Hawai’i has been an awesome experience for our branch," said Tony Dias, executive director of business relations and education of Veterans United Hawai’i. "These organizations give so much to our community and we feel incredibly blessed to be in a position to be able to give back to them."

More than 90 percent of employees of Veterans United donate at least one percent of their paychecks to the foundation, the philanthropic division of the company. Since the start of 2016, the foundation has given nearly $10 million to charitable causes. In addition to giving money to charitable organizations, the foundation also provides financial assistance to Veterans and their families.

Cop on Top Fundraising Total Tops $246,000

This year’s 16th Annual Cop on Top fundraiser brought together volunteer, off-duty law enforcement officers from across the state. From Thursday, August 17 to Saturday, August 19 officers stayed atop 15-foot scaffolds to share the mission of Special Olympics. This year’s event raised more than $246,000.

The annual fundraiser took place at Walmart stores statewide (with the exception of Downtown Honolulu) and all Sam’s Club stores on Oahu. Additional locations included shopping centers around O’ahu with two new locations – Manoa Marketplace and Laulani Village Shopping Center – as well as Salt Lake Shopping Center, Kāne‘ohe Bay Shopping Center, Hawai’i Kai Shopping Center and Enchanted Lake Shopping Center.

“Walmart and our more than 4,000 associates in Hawa’ii are proud to be part of the annual Cop on Top fundraiser alongside local law enforcement officers,” said Lance McAlister, Walmart’s Hawai’i Market Manager. “It’s our seventh year supporting this great event that brings together law enforcement and our community to celebrate Hawai’i’s Special Olympics athletes.”

Positive Coaching Training for Unified Schools

Special Olympics Hawai’i paired up with the Positive Coaching Alliance for the second time to bring positive coaches training to Unified Champion Schools coaches this month. The Positive Coaching Alliance brings the power of positivity to youth sports in Hawai’i with live workshops and online resources. Their philosophy is that “a positive approach gets the most from youth and high school athletes…and also helps youth get the most out of sports.”

Our Special Olympics Hawai’i Unified coaches were able to experience a two-hour training with Kiha Pimental, a former Kamehameha Schools and Stanford University football player and current pastor. The training, which covers a philosophy that can be applied to many situations in addition to coaching, focuses on positive reinforcement versus punishment on the playing field.

Around 25 school-based coaches were exposed to research that provides evidence for the use of positivity and against negativity in coaching. Pimental also provided real-life skills, drills, and examples for coaches to implement right away.

Coaches left the training with the confidence that they could start to work on increased positivity in their sports programs. Jowana Lobendahn from After School All Stars, which has a partnership with Special Olympics Hawai’i, shared that she used to pride herself on being a tough coach, one whom students feared a little. However, “after adding students with intellectual disabilities to my team, I learned to completely change my coaching style. I thought I was doing it for my students with disabilities, but I realized that it really benefitted the whole team, the After School All Stars staff, and even myself. I have witnessed my students be more empowered and more positive,” shared Jowana.

The Positive Coaching Alliance training only underlined these concepts for coaches like Jowana. The After School All Stars serve more than 2,000 youth a year in their afterschool programs and many of those young people participate in Special Olympics.

Special Olympics Hawai’i strongly believes in the philosophy behind the Positive Coaching Alliance and looks forward to our next collaboration.

Britni Ronolo from Central Middle School All Stars learned “that the way that I was coached isn’t the only way to coach and isn’t the best way to mentor and/or create success for every team, especially my Special Olympics Hawai’i team. I can’t wait to introduce the skills I learned into my practices.”

SPONSOR FEATURE: Safway Services and Walmart


This month we're recognizing two companies who play an integral part in our annual Cop on Top fundraiser! Please join us in saying 'mahalo' to Safway Services and Walmart.
Walmart has been a Year-Round Mission Partner since 2011. Each year they serve as a host location for Cop on Top at their stores statewide and also provide grants to support our programs. Their store managers and employees also make the extra effort to make our volunteer law enforcement officers, event volunteers and athletes feel welcome throughout the event.
"Thanks to the support of Walmart each year we are able to reach even more individuals and make a difference for even more athletes across Hawai'i," said Tracey Bender, Special Olympics Hawai'i director of development. "Just this year alone the event raised more than $246,000 which will have a tremendous impact on the programs we can offer."
Safway Services is a Year-Round Supporter that donates their time and services to Special Olympics Hawai'i for three events each year - our State Summer Games, Cop on Top and Over the Edge. The partnership first started with Cop on Top in 2003 with six scaffolds and continues to this day.
"We are so thankful for all the man hours, equipment and expertise that Safway Services provides for Special Olympics Hawai'i every year," said Tracey. "For example, for Cop on Top they spent three days before the event to erect all 12 scaffolds and two days following to take them all down. They have gone above and beyond to accommodate our requests throughout the years."




A Sunset Sail for Special Olympics

On Friday, September 22, all proceeds from Holokai Catamaran’s regular 5pm Sunset Cruise will be donated to Special Olympics Hawai’i. To purchase tickets, please call (808) 922-2210 and be sure to mention Special Olympics Hawai’i!

In The Month of September Give Aloha!

Give Aloha is an annual program through which Foodland directs its charitable giving to the organizations that are important to its customers!

Choose Special Olympics Hawai'i as your charity of choice at your local Foodland. Be sure to use our code "77129" when you checkout.

Holoholo Club

Windward Mall: Every Tuesday afternoon from 4:00 – 4:30pm in front of Big City Diner.

Magic Island: Every Wednesday afternoon from 4:30- 5:00pm at the end of the parking lot.

All participants will receive a movement tracking device and be eligible for rewards as they reach different levels of fitness. To sign up, complete a simple registration form and submit it by fax at 808-943-8814 or e-mail to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

A Big Difference

Mahalo to Teddy's Bigger Burgers and their loyal customers who helped to raise more than $974 through our Icon Campaign!

Register Today! Space Is Limited

October 28th, 2017

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