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Special Olympics Hawaii E-Newsletter

April 2014


Waterhouse Solar Brings Light to Special Olympics’ Work Helping Local Athletes

Waterhouse Solar recently announced a commitment to donate a matching fund of up to $100,000 to Special Olympics Hawai‘i in 2014.

To help Special Olympics receive these matching funds O’ahu homeowners can test their solar knowledge by taking the Waterhouse Solar Survey. For every survey completed through June 15, 2014 Waterhouse Solar will donate $10 to Special Olympics Hawai‘i. (Owner information must match property tax record for donation to be made). To take the Waterhouse Solar Survey please visit

A local, privately funded company, Waterhouse Solar installs residential and commercial photovoltaic systems in Hawai‘i. They will donate $500 for every residential system or commercial system sold on O‘ahu through July 15, 2014. Additionally, Waterhouse Solar is also giving back to residents who will benefit from a $1,000 discount off the cost of their solar system during the promotion period.

“By educating homeowners on the value of solar energy systems we believe we can eliminate the confusion about Hawai‘i’s solar energy problems, which in turn, can help to promote the adoption of a free energy resource that continually proves its valuable benefits for all,” said Waterhouse Owner and President Albert L. Joy.



Inclusionary Young Athletes Program Creates a Day for Play

It’s important for keiki to get out and play! To support activity in children of all ability levels Special Olympics Hawai‘i and the Department of Education have once again partnered up in 2014 to host six Young Athletes Program events.

And there is still time to sign up for our May event! During our State Summer Games we will conduct a free Special Olympics Inclusionary Young Athletes Program for children ages two to seven at the University of Hawai‘i  on Saturday, May 31 from 9 a.m. – 11 a.m. Parents are able to register their children to attend this movement event as well as participate in our Olympic Town and help cheer on our athletes as they compete in track and field, swimming, softball, and powerlifting. The activity is FREE and will focus on developing motor skills and serve as an introduction to parents and children on pre-sports skills and socialization through play. All participants will be provided with a t-shirt, snacks and beverages.

If you are interested in registering your child for the Special Olympics Inclusionary Young Athletes Program event in May please register here, email it to Nip at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or fax your registration form to (808) 943-8814.

Throughout March and April, the Department of Education’s adaptive physical education resource teachers, with support from Special Olympics Hawai‘i, hosted four events across O’ahu. These events welcomed close to 1,400 inclusionary preschool students and would not have been possible without the support from volunteer O’ahu middle and high school students as well as community volunteers – a majority from our military -- here on O’ahu.

The sixth and final Special Olympics Inclusionary Young Athletes Program event will be held at Kaiser High School, a Project UNIFY school, in December. Additional details will be available in September.



More Local Businesses are Stepping Up to the Plate

This May even more local businesses are batting up to help get our athletes to the games. Throughout the month of May the following businesses will be accepting donations on behalf of Special Olympics Hawai‘i. They include:

  • Buffalo Wild Wings (Ala Moana & Pearl City)
    May 1 - 31
  • Cha Cha Cha Salsaria (377 Keahole St.)
    May 1 - 31
  • Podium Raceway (1085 Lexington St.)
    May 1 - 31
These businesses are also continuing their previous support through the end of May:
  • Teddy's Bigger Burger (Kapiolani & Wahiawa)
    April 1 - May 31
  • Kenny's Restaurant (1620 N School St)
    May 1 - 31
  • IHOP (Pearl City, Windward Mall, Ohana Waikiki Malia Hotel, Aqua Palms Waikiki Hotel, & Hilo)
    April 14 - May 31

When you visit any of these companies during their designated dates, please consider making a donation of any amount. All funds raised will go towards Special Olympics Hawai‘i’s State Summer Games, which will bring together more than 1,000 athletes and coaches from around the state to compete in an Olympic-style competition.



HLTA Grant Supports Special Olympics Project UNIFY Programs in 2014

As part of its commitment to better the local community, the Hawai‘i Lodging & Tourism Association awarded Special Olympics Hawai‘i a $10,000.00 grant. The grant is made possible through proceeds from the Visitor Industry Charity Walk. It will directly support Project UNIFY’s work to promote school communities committed to fostering respect, dignity and advocacy for people with intellectual disabilities.

“Special Olympics Hawai‘i has proven, time and again, that we are all members of one big family, our island ‘ohana, and that each and every one of us is a winner. We at the Hawai‘i Lodging & Tourism Association, and all those who make Charity Walk possible, are honored to have the opportunity to support such an amazing organization,” said Brandon R. Barbour, director of government and community affairs for the Hawai‘i Lodging & Tourism Association.

The Hawai‘i Lodging & Tourism Association is a statewide trade association of lodging entities and related businesses. Working in the hospitality industry they understand that our community and the aloha spirit embodied by the people of Hawai‘i are what make our islands unique. Each year, through funds raised during the annual Visitor Industry Charity Walk, HLTA provides grants to organizations that work for the betterment of our community and visitors by providing critical social, health, and educational services.

For 2014, the Visitor Industry Charity Walk will be held on Molokai and Lanai (May 3), Maui and Hawai‘i Island (May 10), and Kaua‘i and O‘ahu (May 17). For more information please visit




Vikings Unite for Project UNIFY Event

On Thursday, April 17, Hilo High School conducted an acceptance campaign called Vikings Unite, bringing together more than 70 students from various school clubs and teams along with Special Olympics athletes. The event promoted inclusion, unity, teamwork and created a sense of pride for the school’s Project UNIFY program.

School groups involved in the event included Student Association representatives, the Blue and Gold Club, Culinary Class, Japanese Class, Hula Class, Leo Club, Key Club, and the Girls Basketball team. The students competed in various skills such as hula hooping, kendama, walking on a balance beam, jump roping and up and down ball passing. Along with the competition, emcees and music made this a festive event for all students on campus to enjoy.

Spectators were also given the opportunity to take the Spread the Word to End the Word pledge promising to no longer use the R-word (retard).

Hilo High School is one of 22 Project UNIFY schools throughout Hawai‘i, which promoted acceptance and respect for people with intellectual disabilities during the months of March and April.

Project UNIFY is an educational program which uses the sports and education programs of Special Olympics to encourage young people to promote school communities that foster acceptance, respect and dignity for people with intellectual disabilities.



SPONSOR FEATURE: Hawai‘i Independent Energy Capital Campaign Contribution Helps Fuel the Dream for Sports and Wellness Center

Hawai‘i Independent Energy (HIE) – the refiner and marketer of petroleum products previously known as Tesoro Hawai‘i – has been a longtime supporter of Special Olympics athletes. But recently, the company built upon their previously gifts with an $80,000 donation towards construction of Phase 1 Special Olympics Hawai‘i’s Sports and Wellness Center.

The $8.3 million complex is being designed specifically to unite athletes of all ability levels and once complete will serve thousands of athletes with intellectual disabilities and their families across the state.

“Hawai‘i Independent Energy’s name may be new to the Islands, but our commitment to Special Olympics Hawai‘i stretches back nearly 25 years. Our predecessor companies have supported Special Olympics Hawai‘i since 1991 and we are continuing that support by taking our partnership to the next level by supporting the Sports and Wellness Center with a capital campaign gift. We hope others will join us in supporting this effort to benefit the athletes,” Tom Weber, Hawai‘i Independent Energy’s vice president – Kapolei Refinery and chair-elect of the Special Olympics Hawai‘i board.




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