Special Olympics Hawaii E-Newsletter
Celebrate the Spirit of Special Olympics at this Year’s State Summer Games!
This Friday, May 30, hundreds of Special Olympics athletes from across the state will parade into the Les Murakami Stadium as part of Special Olympics 46th annual State Summer Games’ Opening Ceremonies.
And for the first year ever, those who cannot make it down in person can catch all the action LIVE online. Thanks to a partnership with our friends at channel808.TV you’ll be able to catch our Parade of Athletes, awards, lighting of the Flame of Hope, Troy Barboza Law Enforcement Torch Run and a very special announcement LIVE. Don't forget to mark your calendar and tune in starting at 7 p.m.!
Click here to watch the live stream.
Months of training and tons of fierce determination have prepared more than 1,000 local athletes and coaches from around the state to compete in an Olympic-style competition that celebrates sportsmanship and sports. This year, athletes will participate in powerlifting, softball, track and field, and swimming. Additionally, Special Olympics Hawai‘i will provide a Young Athlete Program, Healthy Athlete Village and Olympic Town with activities for athletes and families to enjoy throughout the event. Closing Ceremonies are scheduled for Sunday, June 1, at 12:45 p.m. on Ching Field.
For a complete schedule of this year’s events click here
Central Pacific Bank Employees Step Out for Special Olympics
Earlier this month more than 600 Central Pacific Bank executives, employees, their family members and friends, laced up their walking shoes and stepped out to make a difference. The annual CPB Walks For You event took place May 3 and started and ended at the Honolulu Aquarium after a walk around Kapiolani Park.
Employees were invited to nominate and vote for their favorite nonprofits to benefit from the event. The three nonprofits selected for 2014 included Special OlympicsHawai'i, Hawai'i Humane Society and the Boys and Girls Club of Hawai'i. Participants fundraised for five weeks and thanks to a 50 percent matching donation from the Central Pacific Bank Foundation, raised more than $121,000 for the local organizations.
"Our employees get really excited about helping the community. This year they're honored to support Special Olympics Hawai'i, a very deserving local organization that provides athletic training and competitions for children and adults with intellectual disabilities," said John C. Dean, President & CEO of Central Pacific Bank.
Special Olympics Hawai'i was honored to be selected and presented with a check for $40,860 to benefit our local athletes.
It is with heavy hearts that Special Olympics Hawai‘i mourns the loss of two members of our ‘ohana.
Betty Sam: In 2013 Betty and Gordon Sam were inducted into Hawai‘i’s Hall of Fame for their life-long commitment to the Rainbow delegation. Betty served as the head of delegation for the Rainbows team for more than 25 years and it is no exaggeration to say Betty gave her their life to the athletes, coaches and families on the Rainbow team. From handling the paperwork, chaperoning, and being head cheerleader, as well as acting as hanai mom for some of their athletes, Betty’s dedication, leadership, parenting, nurturing and guidance to the Rainbow athletes and ‘ohana was an inspiration to every delegation in Hawai‘i. Betty Sam passed on May 14, 2014.
Ron Barboza: This past Saturday, May 24, Ron Barboza (lovingly known as “Dad” to the Law Enforcement Torch Run ‘ohana) passed peacefully in his home in California. Ron was the father of Troy and Rhonda Barboza, grandfather of Rhonda’s son Kelby, and the loving husband of 50 years to his wife Jerry. Hawai‘i’s Law Enforcement Torch Run was named after Ron and Jerry’s son Troy, who was a dedicated Special Olympics coach and an HPD officer. Troy was killed in the line of duty in 1987 at the age of 23. Ron, Jerry and the family made many visits to Hawai‘i to be a part of the First Hawaiian Bank Troy Barboza Law Enforcement Torch Run Final Leg. They gave their love and commitment to the athletes of Special Olympics Hawai‘i, and the entire law enforcement community.
This year participants in this year’s Torch Run Final Leg will be running to honor Ron and the entire Barboza family. We will miss you Dad.
Walgreens Drives Support to Keep Island Athletes Happy and Healthy
Walgreens stores throughout Hawai‘i are partnering with Special Olympics Hawai‘i to accept donations on the nonprofits’ behalf throughout the month of June. Stores will be accepting donations at check out and one hundred percent of all donations will stay in the islands to help support local athletes with intellectual disabilities.
“One of the great things about partnering with Special Olympics Hawai‘i is the knowledge that 100 percent of the donations we collect will stay right here in Hawai‘i to support our local athletes,” said Scott Sutton, Walgreens Hawai‘i district manager. “Special Olympics mission of serving the Hawai‘i community and helping to keep them ‘happy and healthy’ is very much in line with Walgreens own values and we are proud to support their work by collecting donations throughout the month of June.”
Walgreens has 12 stores and six pharmacies across the state that will be accepting donations for Special Olympics Hawai‘i. They include:
- Ewa Beach (91-1081 Keaunui Dr.)
- Honolulu (1538 Makaloa Plaza)
- Honolulu (1121 S. Beretania St.)
- Honolulu (1520 N. School St.)
- Honolulu (1613 Nuuanu St.)
- Honolulu (1520 Liliha St. Suite 201)
- Honolulu (7192 Kalanianaole Hwy.)
- Kailua (56 Oneawa St.)
- Kaneohe (46-021 Kamehameha Hwy.)
- Wahiawa (135 S. Kamehameha Hwy.)
- Waipahu (94-307 Farrington Hwy.)
- Hilo (301 E. Makaala St.)
- Kahului (10 Kamehameha Ave.)
- Lahaina (342 Keawe St.)
- Lahaina (130 Prison St.)
- Wailuku (99 S. Market St.)
- Wailuku (700 Waiale Rd.)
- Wailuku (2180 Main St. #102)
All funds donated by Walgreens shoppers will go towards Special Olympics Hawai‘i’s State Games. These competitions, which take place year-round, bring together hundreds of athletes and coaches from around the state to compete in an Olympic-style competition.
These Businesses are True Icons
Throughout the summer a number of local businesses have stepped up to help Special Olympics Hawai‘i athletes get to the games. This month we would like to extend a special mahalo to those companies who went above and beyond including IHOP which has committed to raising $5,000 and becoming a Silver Medal Sponsor for our State Summer Games and Menchies Frozen Yogurt and Teddy’s Bigger Burgers who each raised $2,500 to become Bronze Medal Sponsors.
We’d also like to extend a mahalo to the local businesses who supported our Special Olympics athletes by accepting donations in-store throughout the month of April! These companies include:
- Chun Wah Kam (Ala Moana, Waimalu)
- Farrell’s (98-1005 Moanalua Rd)
- Island Treasures Art Gallery (602 Kailua Rd)
- Kakaako Kitchen (1200 Ala Moana Blvd)
- Subway (1106 Pensacola St)
- Uncle Clay’s House of Pure Aloha (820 W Hind Dr)
And there are still a few more days left to support the following businesses who are currently accepting donations on behalf of Special Olympics Hawai‘i. They include:
- Buffalo Wild Wings (Ala Moana & Pearl City)
- Cha Cha Cha Salsaria (377 Keahole St.)
- IHOP (Pearl City, Windward Mall, Ohana Waikiki Malia Hotel, Aqua Palms Waikiki Hotel, Hilo)
- Kenny’s Restaurant (1620 N School St)
- Teddy’s Bigger Burger (Kapiolani, Wahiawa)
- Podium Raceway (1085 Lexington St.)
Project UNIFY: Leaders of Tomorrow
Anticipation and excitement is building for the 11 Project UNIFY schools competing in this week’s State Summer Games at the University of Hawai‘i. These unified teams consist of students with and without intellectual disabilities who have been training together for several months and competed in Special Olympics’ Area Games to qualify for the statewide competition.
One of our unified partners is Kiana Okino, a student at Kaua‘i High School and a member of the Project UNIFY State Youth Activation Committee. Kiana shared how becoming a Special Olympics unified partner has changed her life forever:
“Special Olympics is the largest sports organization in the world. By being a unified partner, you are a part of an international organization. Another unique quality of Special Olympics is its inclusive and positive sports atmosphere. Unlike other sports teams, everyone is a winner and everyone is an important aspect to the team. Whether it be an individual or team competition, all athletes support one another.
A major benefit from being a unified partner is the eternal friendships that are formed. I made so many new friends from Project UNIFY and Special Olympics. The kindness and enthusiasm Special Olympics athletes have is a reward in itself, but unified partners are also rewarded with leadership skills
Special Olympics teaches all the athletes to become the leaders of tomorrow. Being a part of Special Olympics will change your entire perspective. Rather than see the glass half empty, I now see it half full. Spending time with Special Olympic athletes changes your entire mood. After receiving a not-so-great test grade, walking into a roomful of bright, beaming faces will surely change your mood. When participating in unified team practices and competitions, you live in the moment and all the worries of the world fall away.
I joined Project Unify and Special Olympics hoping to make a difference in the life of an athlete with intellectual disabilities. The irony of it all is that it is they who changed me.”
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. For more information, email