Special Olympics Hawaii E-Newsletter
Hawai‘i Athletes Make Their Mark at 2014 USA Games
Hawai‘i’s 12 Special Olympics athletes showed their mettle in the medal count at this year’s 2014 USA Games. In total, Team Hawai‘i earned 25 medals, including 12 gold medals, 10 silver and three bronze medals.
Sponsored by Elite Parking Services, Team Hui O Hawai‘i consisted of 12 athletes from O‘ahu, Maui and Hawai‘i Island. Athletes competed in track and field, swimming and bocce. Results from Team Hawai‘i include:
Team Hawai‘i’s bocce team consisted of Lesley Ann “Annie” Hamm (Honolulu), Shannon Nakamoto (Honolulu) Blane Sardinha (Honolulu) and Marcelino Galdones (Honolulu) who each earned gold in the four-person team competition, and silver medals in men and women’s doubles. Each athlete also earned a medal in singles bocce: Annie (gold), Shannon (gold), Blane (gold), and Marcelino (bronze).
Team Hawai‘i’s track & field team was represented by athletes Reyse Sakima (Honolulu), Kalani Gonsalves (Hilo), Raymatthew Akaka (Waianae) and Daylan Toribio (Kurtistown). Reyse earned silver in the 3,000 meter run and gold in the 1,500 meter run. Kalani earned silver in the 400 meter run. Raymatthew Akaka earned silver in the 200 meter run. And Daylan Toribio earned gold in the 100 meter run and silver in the 200 meter run. The team earned silver in the 4x100 meter relay.
Team Hawai‘i’s swimming team included athletes Michelle Shanahan (Honolulu), Nicole Inouye (Kaneohe), Fae Torres (Kahului) and Nikilani Rojas (Makawao). The team earned bronze in the 4x50 freestyle relay. Additionally, Michele earned individual gold in the 25 yard backstroke and silver in the 50 yard freestyle. Nicole earned three individual gold medals in the 100 yard individual medley, 200 yard freestyle and 100 yard breaststroke. Fae earned bronze in the 200 yard freestyle and 100 yard freestyle. And Nikilani earned gold in the 50 yard breaststroke and 100 yard freestyle and silver in the 50 yard freestyle
The USA National Games was an eight-day event, which took place from June 14-21 and featured more than 3,500 Special Olympics athletes from around the country.
The cost to send one athlete to the USA National Games was more than $2,500. Special Olympics Hawai‘i is still accepting tax-deductible donations to defray expenses at www.specialolympicshawaii.org and supporters can also donate their HawaiianMiles to Special Olympics Hawai‘i to help reduce the cost of transportation.
From July 2 through August 5, you can fuel your ride and fuel the dreams of our local athletes by heading to any participating Tesoro2Go location statewide and making a donation to Special Olympics Hawai‘i. Your donation will give our local athletes the opportunity to compete on statewide, national and international levels.
As part of the month-long fundraising event, there will be three drawings, each for $500 in Tesoro fuel cards. Those who donate $5 will receive one entry; those who donate $20 will receive five entries. (Donations are not required to enter the drawing.)
“Hawai‘i Independent Energy and Tesoro are proud to continue the tradition of hosting Fueling Dreams for the ninth consecutive year to support our Special Olympics Hawai‘i athletes,” said Eric Lee, general manager of Hawaii Independent Energy’s retail group. “It’s a way for the entire community to fuel the dreams of these athletes who work hard year-round so that they can proudly represent our state and our country at no cost to them or their families.”
To date, Fueling Dreams has raised a cumulative total of $416,000. With participation from customers and others in the community, Hawai‘i Independent Energy hopes to raise enough this year to reach the cumulative total of $450,000.
“We are so thrilled to continue to work with Tesoro and the new Hawai‘i Independent Energy leadership to help fuel the dreams of our local athletes,” said Nancy Bottelo, Special Olympics Hawai‘i president and CEO. “For more than 20 years, the company has been one of the biggest champions of our athletes and the funds they provide is invaluable to allow our athletes to win and thrive on the playing field and in life.”
By Terry Jones
On Saturday, May 3, 2014, the Maui Police Department hosted its annual First Hawaiian Bank Troy Barboza Law Enforcement Torch Run. Anything special you ask…yes of course. This year marks the 25th year and we wanted it to be special, and it was!
An estimated 250 participants participated helping to raise more than $10,000 for Special Olympics Maui. Thanks to Officer Kaena Brown, participants and athletes were treated to a special concert where local musicians including Josh Kahula, Ata Damasco, Clay Mortensen, and Homestead performed.
We were also graced with special title holders Miss Maui 2014, Sofia Godinez-Miller; Mister Hawaii 2013, Ponia Matsumoto; Mister Maui 2014, Keali’i Guzman, and others. The weather was perfect and all in all just an awesome day! We even had a special guest from O‘ahu, yes; Special Olympics Hawai‘i CEO Nancy Bottelo joined us for the day. Nancy was also there when we held our very first torch run back in 1990 – it’s hard to believe how time has passed us by!
We’ve come a long way from running our event from the Lahaina Station along Honoapiilani Highway to the Wailuku Station. For a few years we ran in “legs” and our friends at the Maui Fire Department, Hawai‘i Air National Guard, U.S. Army Reserve, Hawai‘i Army National Guard, and others helped us on that long trek. More recently we’ve kept our event in the central area starting at the Kahului branch of First Hawaiian Bank.
A special mahalo to Scott Tanaka and Kathleen Ohta from First Hawaiian Bank for helping to make this year a success. Also, thank you to to Cassie Akina-Ancog from Akina Aloha Tours who has helped our Torch Run for more than 10 years helping our participants get to the starting area. Thank you to all who have helped make the Troy Barboza Law Enforcement Torch Run a success throughout the years! We look forward to future Torch Runs and love supporting the athletes of Special Olympic Maui!
Thousands of athletes, coaches, volunteers and supporters had another reason to celebrate the Opening Ceremonies for our 46th Annual State Summer Games. A special appearance and announcement by Gov. Neil Abercrombie released $1.5 million in capital improvement grant funds for the Special Olympics Hawai‘i, Inc. Sports and Wellness Center brings the project one step closer to becoming a reality.
Identified by the state Legislature, these funds will finance the planning, design and initial construction work for a multipurpose sports, education, fitness and wellness facility on 2.445 acres in Kapolei, directly adjacent to the Kroc Center.
“Having served on the Special Olympics Hawai‘i Board of Directors, I understand the importance of providing a greater number of services to those with intellectual disabilities,” Gov. Abercrombie said. “Currently, these individuals do not have a sports facility dedicated specifically for their needs and this Sports Center will fill that void.”
With the construction of its Hawai‘i Sports and Wellness Center, Special Olympics Hawai‘i is expected to increase the number of individuals it is able to serve statewide to 4,000 annually. The facility will be fully compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act and will provide access to a range of services including sports training and competitions, physical examinations, oral health screening, vision testing, sports skills assessments, and other sports medicines disciplines.
Elite Parking – the state’s premiere provider of valet and self-parking services – has been a sponsor for our Summer Games since 2009. But this year, they went the extra mile to support our local athletes by becoming the presenting sponsor for Team Hui O Hawai‘i. Their donation of $10,000 helped to cover expenses to send Team Hawai‘i to New Jersey where they earned a whopping 25 medals.
Additionally, Elite Parking executives and employees have volunteered for years to run the softball individual skills venue at our State Summer Games as well as donated valet services for our Cheer Champions reception.
“Special Olympics was one of the first organizations we got involved with and volunteering for State Summer Games is definitely something that we look forward to year after year,” said Nina Nakaahiki, vice president & general manager of Elite Parking. “Helping with the softball individual skills venue allows our employees to come together as a company and give back in a unique way as a team.”
“At Elite Parking, we encourage our employees to embody the aloha spirit every day. Supporting our Hawai‘i athletes at the USA Games is a small way that we can spread aloha to the local community. We are so proud of what this team has achieved and so thankful that we could be a part of it,” Nakaahiki added.
ELITE Parking proudly serves Hawai‘i’s people, businesses and hospitality industry with the state’s finest valet and self-parking services. More than just parking cars, Elite Parking offers the most efficient, courteous and affordable valet capabilities in the islands to ensure that each guest they serve feels respected, feels treasured, feels like an elite.