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Special Olympics Hawaii E-Newsletter

March 2014



These Businesses are Real Sports

This summer supporting local businesses can put an extra spring in the step of Special Olympics Hawai‘i athletes. A number of companies have stepped up to the plate to raise funds and help get our athletes to the State Summer Games this May. They include:

  • Menchies (Ward Centers, Kapolei, Mililani): March 14 – April 30
  • Teddy’s Bigger Burger (Kapiolani, Wahiawa): April 1 – May 31
  • Chun Wah Kam (Ala Moana, Waimalu): April 1 - 30
  • Farrell’s (98-1005 Moanalua Rd): April 1 – 30
  • Island Treasures Art Gallery (602 Kailua Rd): April 1 - 30
  • Kakaako Kitchen (1200 Ala Moana Blvd): April 1 – 30
  • Subway (1106 Pensacola St): April 1 - 30
  • Uncle Clay’s House of Pure Aloha (820 W Hind Dr): April 15 – 30
  • Kenny’s Restaurant (1620 N School St): May 1 - 31
  • IHOP (Pearl City, Windward Mall, Ohana Waikiki Malia Hotel, Aqua Palms Waikiki Hotel, Hilo): May 1 – 31
  • The Counter: TBD

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. Athletes will participate in powerlifting, softball, track and field and swimming, as well as other activities including a Young Athlete Program, Healthy Athlete Village and Olympic Town. This event – including transportation and housing – is provided at no cost to our athletes and their families.

Whether it’s grabbing a cup of your favorite frozen yogurt or deciding where to go for breakfast this weekend, we hope you’ll consider supporting the businesses that give back to our local athletes. Mahalo!



There’s Still Time to Take the Plunge!

This week the East Coast is under another snowy siege. And here in Hawai‘i the temperatures are no different at our annual Polar Plunge this Saturday, March 29!

There is still time to sign up to support Special Olympics Hawai‘i and take the slide 80 feet down the island’s largest inflatable water slide into a pool of ice water. Plungers are asked to raise a minimum of $100 by the day of the event and interested individuals and teams can register online at

Gather friends or family and plunge as a team with the Team Extreme program or brave the slide as a solo Polar Plunger. Team participants this year also enjoy some special benefits. Any team that raises more than $1,000 will receive a customized Plunge t-shirt with their company or group’s name on it.

Students from elementary up to college are welcome to join with a fundraising entry of only $50.

Extra-daring participants have the chance to take their frozen challenge to the next level by registering as a “Super Plunger” and taking the plunge 12 times during Special Olympic Hawai‘i’s Super Plunge! “Super Plungers” must pledge to raise a minimum of $1,000 and will receive a special prize package that includes a professional massage, meals throughout the day and entry into the Post Plunge Hot Tub. The Super Plunge begins at 6 a.m. on March 29 and will conclude at 1 p.m.

Special Olympics Hawai‘i supporters who would rather stay dry during the event can opt for a “Too Chicken to Plunge” status and raise funds, receive prize incentives and enjoy a view of the day’s festivities from the safety of the “chicken coop.”

Awards will be given to the Polar Plunging individuals and teams who raise the most funds. Participants may be eligible to win a Plunge t-shirt, a Special Olympics Hawai’i stainless steel tumbler, beach towel, embroidered bathrobe, and entry to the Post Plunge Hot Tub. The day’s plunging begins at 9 a.m. at Waterfront Plaza’s makai lawn along Ala Moana Boulevard with food booths and entertainment.

Plungers all across the Northeastern and Midwestern states participate in this chilly event each year to help raise funds for nonprofits. Since 2008 Special Olympics Hawai'i’s Polar Plunge has helped raise $218,504 for local athletes.


Your Swim Could Help Our Athletes Win

This April, Maui supporters are invited to take a swim to help our athletes win gold. On Saturday, April 26 the Special Olympics Maui Dolphins Swim Team will host the MAUI SWIM & FIN at the Kihei Aquatics Center. The wet and wild event is a great way to have fun, train and exercise while supporting our Maui Special Olympics athletes!

This year’s event celebrates and supports honorary chairpersons Nikilani Rojas and Fae Torres who will both represent Maui and Hawai‘i in swimming at the 2014 USA Games in New Jersey this June.

“I’m excited to travel New Jersey and represent Maui at the USA Games,” said Nikilani. “It’s fun to watch the entire community come together, and I look forward to seeing everyone at this year’s MAUI SWIM & FIN!”

Participants will enjoy entertainment, prizes and light refreshments. Registration opens at 8 a.m. and swimming starts at 9 a.m., by age group. For more information on the MAUI SWIM & FIN please contact This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or (808) 344-8880.


Put a SMILE on Our Athletes’ Faces!

For all you online shoppers this weekend is the time to give your credit card a work out – all for a good cause! Simply sign up for Amazon Smile and designate Special Olympics Hawai‘i as your nonprofit. Because now through March 31, 2014 the Amazon Smile Foundation will donate an extra $5 for each customer who makes an eligible purchase at This is in addition to the regular donation of 0.5% of your purchase.

Click here to get started today.



Show the Aloha Spirit to Our Island Residents with Intellectual Disabilities

By Tracey Bender, Special Olympics Hawai‘i Project UNIFY Coordinator

I have experienced first-hand the devastation and pain that hurtful language, such as the “R-word” can cause individuals with intellectual disabilities. We have all been there. Sometimes words can hurt more than sticks or stones.

Maybe you’ve heard someone say it in passing or even used it yourself without a second thought. The connotation of the word is negative and whether intentional or not, the word conjures up a painful stereotype of people with intellectual disabilities.

For some, this word has become a part of everyday conversation, rattled off without a blink of the eye. And it shouldn’t be.

Earlier this month Hawai‘i students joined individuals around the world to take a stand and put an end to the use of the “R-word” (retard). Throughout the month of March, more than 20 schools across the state held activities, through pledge drives and youth rallies, to raise awareness on the painful effects of the R-word.

Established in 2009, Spread the Word to End the Word was created by youth with and without intellectual disabilities to rid the word “retard(ed)” from everyday speech. The campaign works to turn up the volume on the dehumanizing and hurtful use of the R-word and encourage individuals to abolish its use.

I hope you’ll join these brave youth and help us write a future that is free from hurtful language. If you haven’t already taken the pledge to end the use of the R-word and would like to make a commitment of acceptance you can do so at



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