Special Olympics Hawaii E-newsletter
A DAY TO GIVE
Make a gift and change a life! On Tuesday, December 1, Special Olympics Hawai’i will celebrate #GivingTuesday, which traditionally takes place the Tuesday after Thanksgiving.
Give thanks and give to support our Special Olympics athletes by making a tax-deductible donation of $5 or more today.
No gift is too small. If you're on social media, be sure to use #GivingTuesday to tell your friends why you give. Consider linking this fundraising page so they can get in on the giving too!
For many individuals with intellectual disabilities, Special Olympics is the only place where they can participate in sports and develop belief in themselves - a warm home away from places where they are excluded from full participation.
Donate today to and partner with us this #GivingTuesday to build a space of acceptance, empowerment, and joy for those with intellectual disabilities.
SHARE YOUR THANKS FOR SPECIAL OLYMPICS
Are you thankful for Special Olympics Hawai’i? Nominate our organization for Servco Pacific Inc.’s Servco Thanks & Giving contest.
Now through December 18, 2015, you can nominate Special Olympics Hawai’i online at www.servco.com/thanks. Simply fill out the following forms:
501(c)(3) Name: Special Olympics Hawai’i
501(c)(3) Website: www.specialolympicshawaii.org
Make sure to share in 250 words or less why you are personally thankful for Special Olympics!
Servco will select 10 nonprofits from all nominations to each receive a $25,000 grant!
Mahalo for your support and lets have another reason to be thankful this holiday season!
REACHING OUT TO OUR VOLUNTEER LAW OFFICERS
Our local Law Enforcement Torch Run organization is one of the largest supporters of Special Olympics Hawai’i. This year marks 30 years since the start of the Troy Barboza Law Enforcement Torch Run – the only Torch Run in the country named after an officer.
Last month we gathered with some of our volunteer law enforcement and a very special guest to recognize these volunteers for their service and to get motivated for 2016. Mahalo to these dedicated individuals for all that you do for our athletes!
A VERY SPECIAL JOURNEY
By Kimi Kawachi, Waialua Elementary SPED teacher and coach.
Waialua Elementary School began their Special Olympics journey with Sports Day. The students had so much fun participating in activities that our teachers couldn't help but be inspired.
So we started our involvement small, by forming a track and field that same year. Though we only had two athletes who participated in the State Games it was a great experience, and gave those two students an opportunity to shine.
The next year we added bocce. We recruited more students and more teachers to participate. In the beginning we had trouble convincing parents and students to attend, but once they started, they never look back.
One example of this is that we had a student who asked their mom to change the date of their birthday party because they did not want to miss a Special Olympics event. We also had a student who would throw tantrums and throw things – they are now a team player who even mentors others who need extra help. Next year this individual plans to serve as an assistant coach for the Unified basketball team.
We have a few students who come from challenging home lives who can find acceptance and camaraderie within their Special Olympics team.
This year we added Unified basketball to our ever-growing team. We had enough athletes and partners show up that we were able to put together not just one, but two teams! What started with two students has become more than 20 athletes and partners.
Even our school leadership is involved! We started with just two coaches, and now we have seven. Our school principal is helping to coach the basketball team and our School Based Behavioral Counselor coaches as well. The Vice Principal attends almost all of our games. Special Olympics shirts are seen all over campus. The team is announced at assemblies.
Our goal with Special Olympics is to improve every year. We have added athletes, we have added supporters, and we have added coaches. Our Unified Program is off to a great start and we see the potential for it to become amazing. Thank you to Special Olympics for giving these kids a chance to grow and shine. It truly makes a difference.
YOUNG ATHLETES PROGRAM SHOWS THE BENEFITS OF PLAY
Giving children with disabilities a chance to learn, grow and have fun with typically developing peers and family members is not just nice to do, it is important! During the early years we have the opportunity to impact lifelong success for athletes—both on and off the playing field.
Special Olympics Hawai’i Young Athletes™ program is an early childhood sports play program for children ages two through seven years old that includes games, songs and other fun physical activities. Our young athletes learn basic sports skills like kicking and throwing a ball and playing with others. Children with and without disabilities play together. Families also have the opportunity to get involved in the fun and connect with the Special Olympics community of support.
While young athletes practice their sports skills they gain motor skills like balance, flexibility, strength and coordination. In fact, in a recent study, children with developmental delays who participated in a structured eight-week Young Athletes™ program showed significantly more motor development than those who did not participate. Not only that, but their teachers and parents also reported improved confidence, language skills, and social skills. Another benefit was families played together more at home and in the community.
In Hawai’i, we have three types of Young Athletes program.
- School based: Pre-school, Kindergarten and 1st grade teacher provide inclusionary movement activities.
-Special Olympics Hawai’i provides a curriculum and funding for equipment through the Project UNIFY program.
- Community based: Twice a month, Special Olympics Hawai’i provides a program for parents to bring their two- to seven-year-old children to a community movement program at Kaiser High School and Ewa Mahiko District Park.
- Department of Education Inclusionary Pre-School Play Days: Special Olympics Hawai’i partners with the Pre-School Specialist and the Adaptive PE specialists in this event where pre-school classrooms are invited to attend this fun filled movement event.
To become involved in any of these events please contact Nip Ho at
SPONSOR FEATURE: ELITE PARKING SERVICES
Elite Parking Services has been a driving force for local athletes since YEAR. As a year-round supporter of Special Olympics Hawai’i in 2015, the local company has committed more than $25,000, including most recently serving at the Gold Medal Sponsor for Over the Edge and sending 14 rappelers down the side of the Hyatt Regency Waikiki Beach Resort and Spa.
This year the company has really put the pedal to the metal, coming in not just as a Bronze Medal Sponsor for our 2015 State Summer Games, but also as a Bronze Medal Table Sponsor for this year’s Cheer for Champion fundraiser. The company also sponsored team Hui O Hawaii, making it possible for our 12 athletes to represent our state at the 2014 USA National Games in New Jersey.
“Our team at Elite Parking Services is driven to support Special Olympics Hawai’i by the amazing athletes and their inspiring work on and off the field to overcome obstacles,” said Nina Nakaahiki, Elite Parking Services, executive vice president. “We could not be more proud to support this organization and continue our company’s commitment to giving back to the local community.”
RUN THE ZA RAISES $2K
It’s not a trick! This year’s Halloween event, Run the ZA event raised $2,000 for Special Olympics Hawai’i.
Mahalo to the more than 600 participants who ran for their lives and to the 70 Special Olympics Hawai'i volunteers who came out to support the event.
A BIG Mahalo to ELC Foundation
The ELC Foundation began the season of giving by making a huge year-end contribution to Special Olympics Hawaii.
We would like to send a BIG mahalo to Betty and Ernest of ELC Foundation for donating $50,000 to our Holiday Classic State Games in memory of Officer Troy Barboza. We look forward to introducing them at our 2016 Summer Games Opening Ceremonies!
Gone Over the Edge!
This year's Over the Edge event was above and beyond our expectations! Thank you very much to everyone who came to the Hyatt Waikiki Beach Resort & Spa to rappel and support.
Together we raised about $117,000 for our athletes! This means over 100 athletes will be able to participate in our programs for free over the next year. We can't thank you thrill-seekers enough!
Here is a couple of thrill-seeking moments! For more, see our flickr