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Special Olympics Hawaii E-Newsletter

October 2015


Special Olympics Hawai’i is excited to welcome Jassey Gabon, our new office and finance manager. As Special Olympics Hawai’i’s office and finance manager, Jassey is responsible for managing the organization’s finances, records, budget, donations, and maintaining office equipment and supplies. She will work closely with the director of foundation funding and all areas and state staff to fulfill Special Olympics Hawai’i’s financial responsibilities.

Jassey graduated with a BSC in management accounting from Ateneo de Davao University and an MBA from the University of Phoenix Hawaii Campus. Prior to joining Special Olympics Hawai’i Jassey gained 10 years of accounting experience working with Pacific Wireless Communications, LLC, Steadfast Housing Development Corporation, and Hilton Hawaiian Village.

Welcome to the team, Jassey!




Many Special Olympics Hawai’i’s biggest supporters give so quietly, behind the scenes, with little to no fanfare. They are the unsung heroes of our organizations – and for our athletes who are able to train and compete free of charge. In honor of these individuals and organizations we are launching a new Over the Edge program called “Unflung Heroes.”


And anyone can be a hero! Simply visit our Over the Edge Firstgiving page and make a donation.


“We received so much interest for Over the Edge and how people can support Special Olympics and our athletes that we decided to create the Unflung Heroes program – providing everyone with an opportunity to get involved and give,” said Tracey Bender, Special Olympics Hawai’i development manager. “This way anyone can support our organization – without even having to rappel down a building!”




By Denise Lindsey, Special Olympics West Hawai’i Area Director

It was another throwdown at Kona Commons on Saturday September 26, where six teams gathered to support Special Olympics West Hawai’i. Each team of 10 worked to “huki” or pull, a Roberts Hawaii motor coach bus 30 feet, at a weight of 37,800 lbs (not including the bus driver!).

It was tons of fun, and the winners of this year’s event were:

1st place - “Give None Take None” Vietnam Vets Motor Cycle Club

2nd place - The Club in Kona

3rd place - Kona Commons

Following the 10-person team pull, we held a competition for the lowest combined body weight pull. In this competition, the least amount of participants weighing the lowest combined body weight attempted to muscle the 37,800 lb bus. The winners for this competition were:

1st place - The Club in Kona

2nd place - Echo City Knockout-Roller Derby Girls

3rd place - Sun Run Solar

Thanks to this event, Special Olympics West Hawai’i was able to raise more than $2,000 for local athletes. A special mahalo to Kona Commons, logo sponsors, bus pull teams and of course, all of the valued volunteers who helped make this event a success!




The energy in the room was contagious as high school leaders representing the State Youth Activation Committee (YAC), including students with and without intellectual disabilities, brainstormed and put together plans for the 2016 Project UNIFY Hawaii Youth Summit. It is hard to describe the enthusiastic hum that came out of the conference room for seven straight hours that Saturday in September.

Through idea sharing, and constructive feedback the YAC came together, ready to present an incredible and inspiring Youth Summit to roughly 75 other students this coming February. The Summit is designed to inspire students to bring Project UNIFY activities back to their schools around the state and will be a fun-filled day of activities run by the YAC members.

After a long day of brainstorming, planning, the Hawai’i Youth Activation Committee members put forward an incredible outline and schedule for the Summit, which will inspire high and middle school students with and without intellectual disabilities to take Project UNIFY activities back to their schools.

The 14 inclusive youth leaders included representatives from Farrington High School (not pictured), Roosevelt High School, Kaiser High School, Hilo High School, Waiakea High School, Kapaa High School and Kauai High School. It was amazing to see supportive and energetic students come together to work hard. Their ideas may have ranged from over the top to simple, but they were all incredible.

For more information about Project UNIFY, the YAC, or the Youth Summit, contact Mollie at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .




One of our year-round supporters has been building up Special Olympics Hawai’i since they first started partnering with our organization more than 12 years ago. The partnership (literally!) grew from six scaffolds for Cop on Top in 2003, to providing services for three of our major events each year.

Just this past August, they helped build nine 15-foot scaffolds across O’ahu for our annual Cop on Top event. They also help to erect the stage for our State Summer Games Opening Ceremonies each year as well as the rooftop scaffold, and Drop Zone staircase for our hair-raising Over the Edge event at the Hyatt Regency Waikiki Beach Resort and Spa.

“We are so grateful for not only the time and energy that Safway donates but also the high level of expertise and knowledge they bring, allowing us to put on events that are safe and fun for our participants,” said Tracey Bender, Special Olympics Hawai’i development manager.








A big mahalo to everyone who supported this year’s 10th annual Fueling Dreams campaign which raised $71,348 statewide providing Special Olympics Hawai’i with funds allowing us to continue to provide sports training. The Fueling Dreams campaign ran July 1- August 4, and invited drivers across the state to make a donation at participating Tesoro 2Go and 76 Hawaii stores.



Celebrate Halloween with a run that benefits local non-profits including Special Olympics Hawaii!

The zombies are coming. Make a run for your life and sign up for the first ever Run the ZA, a 5k zombie apocalypse run. The event promises a screaming good time this Halloween, Oct. 31, 2015 at Kualoa Ranch. Sign up is now open atwww.runtheza.comwith a portion of all ticket sales benefitting Special Olympics Hawaii and JDRF.

Adult tickets are $65 while tickets for children 12 and younger are $30. Registration includes a RUN the ZA t-shirt and ZA runner's kit. All ages are welcome to participate -- whether in human or zombie form. Runners under the age of 12 must be accompanied by an adult.

Discounts are also available for students (code: RUNTHEZASTUDENT10) and members of the military (code: RUNTHEZAMILITARY15).


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