Special Olympics Hawaii E-Newsletter
Your Gift Could be A Hole in One!
Make your New Year resolution to make a difference! You can help the Sony Open’s Friends of Hawai‘i Charities support Special Olympics Hawai‘i! If you designate Special Olympics as your participating charity we will receive 100 percent of your donation PLUS get a bonus boost from a funding pool generated by Friends of Hawaii Charities from Sony Open proceeds.
Show your aloha for our athletes here
NFL Pro Bowl Scores Funds for Special Olympics
Calling all sports fanatics! On Saturday, Jan. 25, supporters can head down to the Pro Bowl All-Star Block Party to bid on authentic autographed memorabilia signed by local professional athletes and NFL stars, with all funds raised at the auction going directly to support Special Olympics Hawai‘i.
Last year’s auction raised more than $41,000 for Special Olympics Hawai‘i in addition to the NFL Foundation’s $4,000 grant – which resulted in more than $45,000 going to support year-round sports training for local athletes. Last year Pro Bowl super fans were able to bid on items signed by Clay Matthews, Tony Gonzalez and Cam Newton, as well as footballs signed by the entire NFC and AFC All-Star teams.
Special Olympics Hawai‘i Recognizes 2013 Outstanding Awardees
It truly takes a village to keep Special Olympics Hawai‘i running year after year. So every year we pause and recognize the amazing individuals and families who give generously and tirelessly of themselves for our athletes.
This year’s 2013 awardees include:
- Hall of Fame Award – Bud and Nancy Daumen. The highest award we recognize is our Hall of Fame award. This award is not given out each year, and when it is, is only presented to those who have made a lifetime commitment to our organization and athletes. This dynamic couple has been committed to Special Olympics Hawai‘i for more than 15 years as coaches, unified partners and chaperones. Bud and Nancy Daumen are loved by their athletes and fellow coaches alike. As caregivers at a group home, they have involved those individuals in Special Olympics and helped to recruit new coaches and volunteers to the program. The Daumens always go above and beyond to help our athletes, their families and our coaches have the best experience possible!
- Hall of Fame Award – Gordon and Betty Sam. Gordon and Betty Sam have served as the head of their delegation, the Rainbows, for more than 25 years. It is not an exaggeration to say that they have dedicated their lives to the athletes, coaches and families on their teams. Their leadership, chaperoning, coaching and support are just a few of the many gifts they have given to Special Olympics Hawai‘i. They are a joy to work with and their dedication is an inspiration to many.
- Above and Beyond Award – John Eaddy. Big John as he is fondly known by our Special Olympics ‘ohana has served as one of our special operations managers for the last 17 years. Big John oversees the setup, breakdown and everything in-between to ensure an organized, safe and quality sporting event for our athletes. He is always one of the first to arrive and always, one of the last to leave. Great volunteers are always separated by their heart and that is most true with Big John Eaddy.
- Above and Beyond Award – Dave Faust. Dave is a great asset to make our State Games run smoothly and does everything he can to make our hospitality venue an inviting place for our volunteers and Special Olympics Hawai‘i ‘ohana. He is a workhorse and can always be counted on to fix anything or help spruce up the hospitality area.
- Above and Beyond Award – Cecilia Scarpelli. Cecilia is very driven and helps to take charge of any situation, often going above and beyond what is asked of her as a volunteer. Year after year she proactively offers suggestions on how we can continue to improve the hospitality area with small changes to ensure that our volunteers and families feel welcome and cared for.
- Female Athlete of the Year – Poliahu Purdy. As a Special Olympics Hawai‘i athlete since the age of 12, Poliahu has tested the waters of many sports that Special Olympics offers from swimming, to track and field, bocce, basketball and soccer. At practices and competitions Poliahu lifts the spirits of teammates and cheers everyone on. She is a great role model for all athletes, but especially for members of her own team!
- Male Athlete of the Year – Nolan Martin. A dedicated, honest, respectful and helpful individual, this year’s male athlete of the year always has a positive attitude, which he takes with him wherever he goes! As a Special Olympics athlete for the last 10 years, Nolan has participated year-round in sports including track and field, softball, golf, bowling and basketball. He is also a global messenger who has presented to groups on behalf of his area program, and emceed at many of our events!
- 2013 Outstanding Organization of the Year - Hawai‘i County Police Department. For more than 10 years the officers of the Hawai‘i County Police Department have worked with their area Special Olympics program to raise funds with events including Tip a Cop, Cop on Top and the Law Enforcement Torch Run. To date the group has raised close to a quarter of a million dollars for the athletes and programs of Special Olympics East Hawai‘i.
- Outstanding School – Roosevelt High School. For six years Roosevelt High School has been at the forefront of our local Project UNIFY program. Their school has an exceptional group of regular education and special education student leaders who are helping to break down stereotypes. Additionally, the school has played host to Special Olympics Hawai‘i’s Sports Day event for the last seven years and has coordinated the event for the last five.
- Outstanding Unified Partner – Alicia Gilbert, Kapa’a High School. This year’s outstanding unified partner helped to launch the Project Unify Club at her local high school. As president of the club, she is a big advocate and role model for acceptance and friendship between all students.
- Outstanding Delegation – East Hawai‘i Explosions. Consisting of a terrific group of athletes, coaches, volunteers and family members, the East Hawai‘i Explosions participate in eight of the nine sports offered by Special Olympics Hawai‘i and many times have multiple teams participating in each sport. Every year the Explosions help to fundraise, volunteer at events and even serve on the area management team. Families from this delegation never hesitate to help out when asked, and many times proactively volunteer their assistance!
- Outstanding Volunteer – Clayton Cabral. This year’s Special Olympics Hawai‘i outstanding volunteer of the year has been helping our organization since 1995! Since then he has served as a soccer coach, assistant coach for basketball, bocce and softball, and also as a unified partner for bowling! He does this all while being a single parent to a Special Olympics athlete! As his delegation, Kamali‘i Koa summed it up, “We are truly grateful to have Clayton Cabral as a parent, good friend, and loyal supporter of our athletes.”
- Outstanding Coach of the Year – Reggie Chong. Our outstanding coach of the year has been mentoring athletes for more than 19 years. As a coach, he involves every player and brings out their full potential so they each play an important role as part of the larger team. Reggie is always willing to take on new athletes and welcomes everyone with an open heart. He has coached sports from basketball, soccer, track and field to swimming. As one of the most senior members of the Duck’s coaching team, he is also a great role model for other, newer coaches!
- Outstanding Family of the Year – Leona Sa-McDermott, Kaimana McDermott-Sa and Their ‘Ohana. As a member of Special Olympics Hawai‘i ‘ohana for more than 10 years, this special family embodies our organization’s mission in everything that they do! They are at every event, practice and fundraiser, and the entire family is highly committed to the area program and Kapa‘a Project Unify Club.
We would also like to extend a special mahalo to two very special individuals:
- Danny Kao. Danny was the first medic to volunteer at our Games in 2006 and has been helping out at our events ever since! From competitions to MedFest, fundraisers and everything in between Danny is always there to ensure the safety of our athletes, families, coaches and volunteers!
- Calvin Hui. Calvin is moving to the mainland this year and celebrated his last completion with us. We thank him for all of his time and support to our organization over the years!
Project UNIFY Takes that Extra Step
On November 8, Hilo High School hosted a Walk-a-thon fundraising event for Project UNIFY. The after school activity was open to students, faculty and staff of Hilo High School. The event requested participants to collect a pledge amount for each lap they walked around the track.
More than 100 individuals participated in the Walk-a-thon and the event raised over $3,000 to help fund Project UNIFY activities at Hilo High School. Student associations and various clubs joined special education students and Special Olympics athletes as they walked around the track. Many stayed late into the afternoon and enjoyed the atmosphere and music.
Leo Club member, Kenneth Kitahata, said, “It was great to see everyone interacting with one another, special needs and regular education students. People came with the intent of maybe walking a few laps, but after seeing all the enthusiasm and energy from some of the Special Olympic athletes, that changed. It felt rewarding to help out and make such a big impact.” Kenneth was excited to see people who normally do not participate in school activities out on the track supporting Project UNIFY.
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.