Special Olympics Hawaii E-Newsletter
The Safeway Foundation Awards $50,000 Grant
This month Special Olympics Hawai’i received a $50,000 grant from The Safeway Foundation. The grant is made possible through Safeway’s annual People with Disabilities Campaign.
Each November, Safeway customers and employees voluntarily contribute to The Safeway Foundation at checkstands throughout Northern California, Northern Nevada and Hawai’i. The campaign helps to fund local organizations who are at the forefront of providing assistance to those with disabilities.
Kaiser Permanente Hawai’i Recognized as First Hawai’i Golisano Health Leadership Award Honoree
Special Olympics Hawai’i is honored to announce the selection of Kaiser Permanente Hawai’i as the 2016-2017 Golisano Health Leadership Award honoree. The Golisano Health Leadership Award was established in 2016 in partnership with Special Olympics and the Golisano Foundation, and is given to an individual or organization that is dedicated to improving the health of people with intellectual disabilities and advancing the health work of Special Olympics.
“The support and services we receive from Kaiser Permanente Hawai’i is invaluable in providing our athletes access to medical screenings provided in a positive, warm and professional atmosphere,” said Nancy Bottelo, Special Olympics Hawai’i President & CEO. “Kaiser Permanente Hawai’i’s staff is enthusiastic and experienced in working with individuals with intellectual disabilities. They welcome our athletes back each year with open arms.”
Since 2010 Kaiser Permanente Hawai’i has hosted Special Olympics Hawai’i’s annual MedFest event, providing a facility and the necessary staff, equipment and supplies to provide the medical screenings athletes need to safely compete. To date, this includes more than 428 medical screenings for athletes that otherwise would not be able to participate in Special Olympics due to difficulties scheduling a doctor’s appointment, lack of transportation, financial concerns and other related issues.
Kaiser Permanente Hawai’i is one of up to 32 individuals or organizations across the Special Olympics movement that will receive the Golisano Health Leadership Award in 2016. Up to seven honorees will be selected to receive the global award to be presented at the 2017 Special Olympics World Winter Games in Austria this March.
Since 2012, philanthropist and Paychex Chairman, Tom Golisano, and the Golisano Foundation, have committed $37 million to Special Olympics health program to increase access to inclusive health, fitness and wellness programs tor people with intellectual disabilities in the communities in which they live.
The 2016 State Holiday Classic presented by
With the holidays just around the corner Special Olympics Hawai'i is getting the ball rolling with our last state games of the year -the 27th annual Holiday Classic!
Our Holiday Classic events will take place Nov. 19 & 20, 2016 at Kaneohe Bay Marine Corps Base Hawai'i and Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam. Nearly 1,200 athletes and coaches from around the state will be competing in sports; including basketball, singles and Unified® team bowling, as well as traditional and Unified® doubles bocce.
We are excited to announce that this year the ELC Foundation will be our Presenting Sponsor of the State Holiday Classic. Also the ELC Foundation has become the newest Mission Partner of Special Olympics Hawai'i. We are extremely grateful for the generosity of our friends at the ELC Foundation. With their generous gift they will be covering 100% of the costs associated with this state-wide tournament, ensuring that all our local athletes can participate at no charge! Mahalo ELC Foundation!!
The Holiday Classic is one of Special Olympics Hawai'i's largest annual sporting events and marks the end of the fall season. We hope to see you all there!
For this year's Holiday Classic schedule click here.
A Winning Partnership
By Mollie Bruhl, Unified Schools Coordinator
In 2014, Christina Keaulana, an instructor in the Leeward Community College education department, decided her students needed more hands-on experience. As a result, she started taking her Foundations of Inclusion in Teaching class to Waipahu Elementary School to coach the Special Olympics unified team once a week. The LCC students also run inclusive activities such as arts and crafts and other games.
This collaboration, which was inspired by Keaulana’s lifelong passion for sports has been a “an absolute game changer as far as directing career paths for our prospective teachers.” The LCC students receive real-world experience that many other classes can’t offer.
Keaulana shared that “thanks to…the amazing hands-on experience students have, this class is now a favorite amongst ED electives in our program. The course fills to capacity at almost 30 students each semester. Compared to when I started, I typically had just 12-14 students! Furthermore, this type of course delivery embodies everything a community college is designed to provide--meeting a direct community workforce need by providing methods-based practical learning experiences.”
And needs are surely being exposed to the LCC students. In a state that consistently struggles to hire the minimum number of special education teachers needed to meet its requirements, Keaulana is providing an opportunity for future teachers to experience special education teaching first-hand and realize the needs in our community.
According to Keaulana, “Waipahu Elementary serves a student population comprised of 83 percent of children who qualify for free/reduced lunch (which means their families' income falls below the poverty level), 34 percent are English-language learners, and 9 percent of kindergarteners have not attended any form of preschool prior to beginning school. Our students are aspiring to be future teachers and I want to ignite a fire in them to answer the call to serve those who need them the most.”
Last year, LCC recognized Keaulana and her course with a Wo Community Building Award for her work and for expanding and enriching campus relations with the larger community.
Waipahu Elementary School has also been extremely supportive of the partnership. Unified partners (general education students) are allowed out of class for an hour each week to participate in practice and inclusive activities. Special Education FSC Teacher, Angie Fujimoto shared that their school has become more inclusive thanks to the partnership, with her students included in PE, library, art, student council, and yearbook.
She also shared that “students involved with the unified team go out of their way to say hello and interact with [special education] students.” Simply being acknowledged goes a long way and “makes [special education students] feel part of something bigger than just [the] four walls [around the FSC classroom].”
This is truly a win-win partnership for all involved! Special Olympics has a strong and committed unified school program, Waipahu Elementary School is closing the gap between special and general education students, and LCC students are gaining hands-on experience necessary for their futures! What can be taught “in a PowerPoint, lecture, or even from...stories can never truly capture the beautiful exchange [the LCC] students are able to have with these young people from Waipahu Elementary School.” Many of the LCC students involved even end up deciding to go into Special Education, thereby helping to meet one of the needs of the community- the main goal of this project.
Please join us in cheering on the Waipahu Ninja Warriors at the Oahu Regional Basketball Tournament at Kamehameha Schools Kapalama Middle School Gym on October 15!
Sponsor Feature: Par Hawai’i
For more than 25 years, Par Hawai’i has helped fuel the dreams of our Special Olympics Hawai’i athletes. Each year, the local company hosts its signature Fueling Dreams fundraiser, which this year ran from June 1 through July 15, 2016. Thanks to the generous continuation of the campaign, this year’s event raised a record-breaking $79,325 for Special Olympics Hawai’i!
Participating in the 11th annual Fueling Dreams were employees of 25 Tesoro and 14 76-branded stations throughout O‘ahu, Hawai‘i Island, and Maui who enthusiastically collected donations for Special Olympics Hawai‘i. In particular the Piilani store on Maui put the pedal to the metal once again this year and raised a store record of $11,727.
“In the more than 25 years that Hawai’i Independent Energy and our predecessor companies have partnered with Special Olympics Hawai’i, we’re proud to have raised a cumulative total of more than $974,000 to support their important work,” said Eric Lee, Par Hawai’i’s Vice President - Retail. “These athletes, their families, friends and coaches are all members of our extended Par Hawai’i ‘ohana and it brings us great joy to be able to further their goals and dreams through our ‘Fueling Dreams’ event.”
Last month, when the company unveiled its new HELE brand, it partnered with Special Olympics Hawai’i to kick off the grand opening of its first station in Palama. As part of the event, Par Hawai’i committed to matching donations dollar for dollar up to $10,000. We are proud to share that because of the generosity of our donors, we surpassed the matching goal and will receive a generous donation of $10,000 from Par Hawai’i!
Over The Edge November 5, 2016
Can't make it down to Over the Edge in person next month? Tune in to our livestream and catch all the hair raising action in person!
Provided by our friends at Channel808, the livestream starts at 8 a.m. and goes till about 5 p.m.
Eunice Kennedy Shrivers Day
At September’s Global Messengers Training participants celebrated EKS Day, a day in honor of our founder, Eunice Kennedy Shriver. The Global Messengers Program is named after her husband, Sargent Shriver’s Global Messengers and was a perfect way to honor her legacy.
Mahalo For Your Support: Tip a Cop
Mahalo to everyone who supported this year’s 26th Annual Tip a Cop event at Ward Village. Thanks to the generous support of diners at Big City Diner, Kincaid’s and Ryan’s Grill as well as all of our off-duty volunteer law enforcement officers we were able to raise close to $4,000 for our athletes.