Special Olympics Hawaii E-Newsletter
IHOP Celebrates 10 Years By Giving Back
This year IHOP Hawai’i marks 10 years in the islands. To celebrate, they have selected Special Olympics Hawai’i as a partner to support over the next year.
As part of this partnership IHOP Hawai’i donated 500 lunch meals for the Aukake Classic and is hosting an icon campaign at all five locations (three on Oahu, one in Hilo and one in Kona) from August through October. During this time diners who visit their favorite IHOP can make a donation to Special Olympics Hawai’i with all donations going to our local athletes. IHOP will also donate 700 lunch meals for next year’s State Summer Games.
Tip a Cop Fundraiser Returns to Ward Village, September 29 & 30
This month, a meal at your favorite restaurant can be a homerun for local athletes. Tip a Cop returns to Ward Village for its 26th year Thursday, September 29 and Friday, September 30. Guests who dine at Big City Diner, Kincaid’s and Ryan’s Grill can make a donation to volunteer off-duty law enforcement officers who will buss tables and serve food all to raise funds for Special Olympics Hawai’i and their work to provide year-around sports events for athletes with intellectual disabilities.
Tip a Cop will take place during breakfast, lunch and dinner during the following hours:
Big City Diner: 7 a.m. – 9 a.m.; 11 a.m. – 1 p.m.; 5:30 p.m. – 9 p.m.
Kincaid’s: 5:30 p.m. – 9 p.m.
Ryan’s Grill: 5:30 p.m. – 9 p.m.
“Ward Village is excited to continue to partner with Special Olympics Hawai’i for this signature fundraising event,” said Katie Ka‘anapu, Ward Village senior director, marketing. “Thanks to the generosity and support of our participating restaurants and loyal customers, over the last 25 years Tip a Cop at Ward Village has been able to raise more than $269,671 for our Special Olympics Hawai’i athletes.”
For up-to-date information on Tip a Cop please visit www.sohawaii.org. Proceeds from Tip a Cop will benefit Special Olympic Hawai’i’s Holiday Classic in November, an annual competition featuring more than 1,000 athletes and coaches from throughout the state who will compete in basketball, bowling and bocce. Athletes begin training for the event in September. The two-day event highlights the end of the fall competition season and takes place at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam and Kaneohe Bay Marine Corp Base.
Cop on Top Raises $212,000 for Special Olympics Hawai’i
Last month, local law enforcement rose to the occasion for this year’s 15th Annual Special Olympics Hawai’i Cop on Top fundraiser. Volunteer law enforcement from across the state helped to raise $212,000 during the three day event which ran from August 25 – 27.
This year’s Cop on Top took place at Walmart stores statewide, as well as locations around O’ahu including all Sam’s Club locations, Salt Lake Shopping Center, Kāne‘ohe Bay Shopping Center, Hawai’i Kai Shopping Center and Enchanted Lake Shopping Center.
“Walmart Hawai’i is proud to celebrate six years working with Special Olympics Hawai’i and our dedicated volunteer law enforcement for Cop on Top,” said Steven Reed, Walmart Hawai’i Market Manager. “It’s incredibly rewarding to see the direct impact that the funds raised from this event have had on our local athletes with intellectual disabilities, creating opportunities for them to train and compete year-round.”
Athletes Had a Ball at 21st Annual Aukake Classic
More than 340 Special Olympics Hawai‘i athletes and coaches from across the state spent the first weekend in August heating up Waiau District Park at this year’s 21st annual Aukake Classic. The Aukake Classic marks the end of the summer season.
Athletes prepared from June through August and participated in area and regional competitions to qualify for this event. Throughout the two-day event, athletes competed in a soccer tournament, individual soccer skills competition as well as traditional and Unified® bocce doubles competition.
Unified Champion Feature: A Gold Medal Experience
Special Olympics Hawaii has a special partnership with the After School All Stars (ASAS) Hawai’i. ASAS provides comprehensive after school programs for middle school students at Title I schools across O’ahu and the Big Island. For the last five years, ASAS schools have teamed up students from general and special education in their after school program and competed in Unified Sports at Special Olympics’ tournaments. ASAS schools participate in unified flag football, bocce, softball, and basketball each year.
Most recently, the Central Middle School All Stars won the gold medal at Special Olympics Hawai’i’s State Summer Games Unified Softball Tournament, playing against other unified middle school teams from across the state. Two students shared their gold medal experiences. [Click here to read their stories.]
“Before SOHI I had no friends at all. I never played sports or had been a part of a team before. In elementary school I would have five hours of free time after school at home by myself playing video games and watching TV. Now I only have three hours at home, mainly because of Special Olympics Hawaii practice. After all of that hard work, laps after laps, we went to sports showdown [Special Olympics Hawai’i’s Area Games]. We had the opportunity to reach first place but we placed second. We were not happy with that so we kept working harder and harder at practice.
This summer we went to the University of Hawaii for a tournament [Special Olympics Hawai’i’s State Summer Games] and we played against Kalakaua, Jarrett, and Pahoa. We beat everyone on the first day but not Pahoa. But on the second day, we played them again and we won the gold! When I returned home, it was the best feeling in the world! I got to show my big brother and mom my gold medal! My team also picked me to be the MVP of the tournament because of my defense. Because of Special Olympics Hawai’i I tried out a sport and now I love it! Because of Special Olympics Hawai’i I am more confident! Because of Special Olympics Hawai’i I now have TRUE friends!”
- Andy Nguyen, Athlete, 8th Grader
“Before joining After-School All-Stars, I never knew what Special Olympics Hawai’i was. I never hung-out or played with special education students. Then, I tried out for the CMS Special Olympics Hawai’i basketball team and realized how much fun I was missing out on. I enjoyed playing against other people and everything that happened at Special Olympics Hawai’i. Special Olympics Hawai’i provides special education students with an opportunity to do things just like everyone else. Special Olympics Hawai’i doesn’t only provide opportunities for the SPED students but for everyone else as well. thanks to Special Olympics Hawai’i I have had the opportunity to grow as an individual.
I learned not to judge people based on their looks or differences. I learned that even SPED students can play sports with everyone else and be good or even better at it. I learned that no matter what kind of people are on your team, if you work together, stay positive, and encourage each other you can do anything. I want to share this experience with everyone so they can understand how this benefits the special education kids and others. I want all the special education people/students to know that they aren’t different or less beautiful just because of the way they walk, talk, and look. They are all beautiful in many ways, as they love, as they care and share.
I’ve never met so many honest and beautiful people until I joined ASAS and attended my first ever Special Olympics Games. I was able to meet so many wonderful people and build friendships with people I would’ve never even have spoken to if it wasn’t for this Special Olympics Hawai’i experience. Thank you Special Olympics Hawai’i, for providing me with the opportunities to become a better individual, friend, and teammate.”
- Rollyn Mae Ragmac, Unified Partner, 8th grader
Sponsor Feature: First Hawaiian Bank Says Yes to Special Olympics Hawai‘i!
Special Olympics Hawai'i has been able to bank on the loyal support of our friends at First Hawaiian Bank for over 24 years. In 1998, the company became the Title Sponsor of our First Hawaiian Bank Troy Barboza Law Enforcement Torch Run and later joined the elite ranks of our very top corporate sponsors in 2007 to become a Mission Partner for our organization. Their generous support helps Special Olympics Hawai'i provide year-round services free of charge to our athletes and families.
In addition to their corporate contribution, First Hawaiian Bank employees raise funds for Special Olympics through Kokua Mai, their employee giving campaign where employees donate several thousands of dollars each year to support Special Olympics. Annually, the bank also provides the refreshments at each of our neighbor island Torch Runs and is the sponsor of our Oahu Torch Run kick off.
Through our partnership with First Hawaiian Bank they have developed creative ways to share the great work that we do at Special Olympics with our community. In October, visit any First Hawaiian Bank branch and donate to our "Be A Fan" community donation drive held in its 57 branches in Hawaii and 3 branches in Guam. All proceeds from "Be A Fan" support our athletes allowing them to participate for free in our Summer Olympics, Aukake Classic and State Holiday Classic competitive games.
"First Hawaiian Bank is proud to invest in the physical and emotional well-being of our athletes with intellectual disabilities," said Chris Dods, Executive Vice President & Marketing Communications Division Manager for First Hawaiian Bank. "Our employees donate because they also believe in the mission and they appreciate the important work being done by Special Olympics in our island communities."
City Auto Supply
Mahalo to the tee-riffic team at City Auto Supply. This month they presented us a check from last year's golf tournament for $10,000! We can't wait for this year's event on September 26.
Above and Beyond Award
This month we honored Dr Peggy Latare and Dr Joseph Grote with Special Olympics Hawaii's Above and Beyond award for volunteering for our MedFest program since 2012.
Shop with Aloha!
Starting Thursday, September 1, Foodland shoppers can enter code 77129 at checkout and Give Aloha! Throughout the month of September donations will be accepted at all Foodland, Sack N Save and Foodland Farms locations statewide. And don’t forget to make your donation with a Maka’i Card. A portion of all donations made with a Maka’i Card will be matched!