New York Summer Games Wins the Gold

June 19, 2006

Over 2,000 athletes and coaches were the honored guests at Opening Ceremonies on Thursday, June 15 as this fun and inspiration-filled evening kicked off two days of exciting competition at Special Olympics New York’s Summer Games held at the University at Albany, Siena College, Albany Academy for Girls and Sunset Lanes.

Impending bad weather moved the ceremonies inside but could not dampen the athletes’ tremendous anticipation of coming events. Seated by their New York State delegations, each region distinguished by a different but equally vibrant tee-shirt color, the groups of athletes created an animated mosaic of unbounded enthusiasm.

Emcees Rich Becker of Fox 23 News and Yolanda Vega of New York State Lottery welcomed the packed crowd of athletes, coaches, dignitaries and spectators, setting a jubilant tone. The University at Albany Color Guard procession gave pageantry to this tone. The national anthem was nicely rendered by the lead singer of the Flame of Rock band which also performed to the delight of all attending.

For the speakers’ program, thoughts about the courage and joy of Special Olympics competition were shared by University at Albany’s President Kermit Hall, County Executive Mike Breslin, Albany Mayor Jerry Jennings, and the games’ co-chairs Mona Golub of Price Chopper Supermarkets and Shawn Williams of GE Silicones. The Athletes’ Oath offered a suitable finish to the oratory.

Lavishly robed Knights of Columbus preceded the dynamic New York State Corrections’ Emerald Society Pipe Band, eliciting cheers from the athletes. The Law Enforcement Torch Run arrived, having brought the Flame of Hope on a 1,000-mile journey across New York State. Over three hundred cheerleaders from local schools further enlivened the gathering as new recruits from the State Police Academy, along with many other Law Enforcement Torch Run members from across the state ran the flaming torch up the center aisle.

Special Olympics athletes Kara Siddons and Chuck Probst, both of Albany, joined the final leg of the run and proudly carried the Flame of Hope to the Special Olympics cauldron, lighting it as Neal J. Johnson, President and CEO of Special Olympics declared the Games officially open.

For the next two days the athletes took to the sporting grounds, demonstrating their talent and skills at track and field, aquatics, basketball, bowling, gymnastics, powerlifting, tennis and volleyball. Venues in addition to the University at Albany included Siena College, Albany Academy for Girls and Sunset Recreation Bowling Lanes.

Special Olympics New York Board Chairman Richard Salinardi said, “The true meaning of the competition is that the athletes prove to themselves that they can do something. Many of the athletes when they start to compete don’t have the skills. They don’t have the skills because they don’t have the opportunities. Through training, they develop their abilities and then all of a sudden they’re in a real competition and they have real results.”

Said athlete and global messenger Stephen Caruso, “We worked hard to get here this whole past year, just to come out and watch and see what these athletes can do because they can really surprise you.”

As records were broken and medals were won with pride; what was most important for those two days came true; all our Special Olympics athletes had fun.

A special thanks to our Presenting Sponsor; Price Chopper Supermarkets, and to these supporters: Gold Sponsor; GE Silicones; Statewide Sponsors New York Lottery and New York State United Teachers; Silver Sponsors AXA Financial Advisors, Fraternal Order of Police and Federation of NY Insurance Professionals; Media Sponsors Fox23 News, ClearChannel Radio and the Times Union; Bronze Sponsors Capital Communications FCU, CSEA, Keeler Motor Car Company, Symantec Corporation, Community Foundation for the Capital Region and Desmond Hotel & Conference Center.

2,000 Special Olympians Heading for Albany

June 14, 2006

2006 Summer Games is New York State�s largest Special Olympics Competition Final preparations now begin for Special Olympics New York’s 2006 Summer Games to be held at the University at Albany June 15 to 18, presented by Price Chopper Supermarkets. More than 2,000 athletes and coaches from across the state will attend the Games, the largest of more than 400 Special Olympics competitions held annually in New York.

Summer Games competitions include aquatics, basketball, bowling, gymnastics, powerlifting, track & field, tennis and volleyball. University at Albany is the host venue and will be the site of most competitions. Additional venues include Siena College, Albany Academy for Girls and Sunset Recreation Bowling Lanes.

“The University at Albany community is pleased to welcome, once again, the athletes, families, and coaches of the Special Olympics New York 2006 Summer Games to our campus and provide the venues and facilities for fostering teamwork, volunteerism, spirit, pride, and achievement,” said President Kermit L. Hall. “As an academic institution, these ideals are part of our everyday mission at the University and we’re proud to uphold this tradition.”
On Thursday, June 15 at 8:00 PM, the pageantry and entertainment of Opening Ceremonies will begin at University Field. This traditional event includes the parade of athletes, the completion of the Law Enforcement Torch Run and the lighting of the Special Olympics Cauldron to signify the start of the Games. Opening Ceremonies and all Summer Games competitions are free and open to the public.

“We anticipate an outstanding experience,” said Neal J. Johnson, president and chief executive officer of Special Olympics New York. “On behalf of our athletes, I invite the Capital Region community to join our celebration and support the Summer Games by attending both the Opening Ceremonies and the competitions. We promise it will be both fun and tremendously rewarding.”

Participating in the Summer Games will be over 1600 athletes and 500 coaches as well as 150 support personnel, 2000 local volunteers and 400 family members. Athletic competitions on Friday, June 16 serve as divisioning events, followed by medaling events on Saturday, June 17. Those athletes winning gold medals will qualify for the World Games in 2008 in Shanghai, China.

Additional offerings during the competitions include Olympic Village and Healthy Athletes; health screenings which help Special Olympics athletes improve their health and fitness, leading to an improved sports experience and well-being. This year’s program includes Fit Feet, FUNFitness, Special Smiles and Health Promotion.

According to Johnson, it is the aim of Special Olympics to demonstrate that when people with and without intellectual disabilities are brought together by its year-round program of training and competition that myths are dispelled, attitudes are changed, and new opportunities to embrace and celebrate people with intellectual disabilities are created.

“You have to be happy when you’re chosen for Summer Games,” said aquatics athlete Steve Caruso. “Sportsmanship is one thing they look for in who goes and doesn’t go. How you face up to winning and losing. How well you treat your team. We’re all winners in my book. We all have fun. I know I try my hardest. My slogan is: Never give up, always keep trying. I can’t believe how far I’ve gotten in my life.”

In addition to Price Chopper Supermarkets, Summer Games are made possible through the generosity of Gold Sponsor GE Silicones; Statewide Sponsors New York Lottery and New York State United Teachers; Silver Sponsors AXA Financial Advisors and Federation of NY Insurance Professionals; Media Sponsors Fox 23 News, ClearChannel Radio and the Times Union; Bronze Sponsors Capital Communications FCU, CSEA, Keeler Motor Car Company, Fraternal Order of Police, Symantec Corporation, Community Foundation for the Capital Region and Desmond Hotel & Conference Cen

2006 Summer Games in Albany June 15-18

April 7, 2006

Mona Golub of Price Chopper, Presenting Sponsor, and Shawn Williams of GE Silicones, Gold Sponsor, to serve as event Co-Chairs. The excitement mounts for the year’s most spectacular Olympic competition: our Summer Games, returning to Albany for 2006 and 2007. This June 15-18 at the University at Albany, Sunset Recreational Lanes and Siena College, over 2,000 athletes and coaches will put their training and skills to the test in eight Olympic-style events including aquatics, basketball, bowling, gymnastics, powerlifting, track & field, tennis and volleyball.

The weekend will also include Opening Ceremonies on Thursday night and Closing Ceremonies and a Victory Dance when competition concludes on Saturday. Further details on how to volunteer, support and sponsor Summer Games can be found by visiting

To formally announce the Games to the general public, a Corporate Breakfast and Press Conference was held March 15th at the Desmond Hotel & Conference Center in Colonie. This inspirational event was emceed by Katie Cranston Spadafora and Kevin Brown, both athletes of Special Olympics. They captivated the audience by voicing their happiness, gratitude and support for the Games coming again to Albany.

On behalf of Presenting Sponsor, Price Chopper Supermarkets, Co-chair Mona Golub spoke of her family’s and the Golub Foundation’s continued commitment to Special Olympics New York. Also Co-chairing the Summer Games is Shawn D. Williams, representing Gold Sponsor Americas Industrial of GE – Advanced Materials, Silicones as General Manager. Both speakers honored the other corporate sponsors attending the breakfast kick-off for the Games, reinforcing their support of the organization’s work to inspire greatness in all those participating in this wonderful event.

In addition to Price Chopper Supermarkets and GE Silicones, Summer Games are made possible through the generosity of sponsors including State Sponsors New York Lottery and New York State United Teachers; Silver Sponsors AXA Financial Advisors and Federation of NY Insurance Professionals; Media Sponsors Fox 23 News, ClearChannel Radio and the Albany Times Union; Bronze Sponsors Capital Communications FCU, Keeler Motor Car Company, Fraternal Order of Police and Symantec Corporation; Sport Sponsors Lions Club International, CDPHP, Citizens Bank, The Affinity Group LLC, NBT Bank; Team Sponsors Callanan Industries and Saratoga Gaming & Raceway; and Contributors M & T Bank and Oldcastle Precast Northeast.

Summer Games a Golub Family Tradition

When Special Olympics New York athletes arrive at the Summer Games, event Co-chair Mona Golub will be there cheering them on, sharing the proven commitment and loyalty to Special Olympics of her parents Neil and Jane Golub. The Golub family has created a long-standing relationship with Special Olympics New York. Neil Golub, President and CEO of Golub Corporation, served as Honorary Chair for both the 1996 and 1999 Summer Games in Albany. In 1999, he asked his wife Jane, Director of Vendor Income Programs for Golub Corporation, to partner with him in the 1999 effort, and she complied happily.

Ms. Golub is Vice President of Public Relations and Consumer Services for the Golub Corporation; parent company of Price Chopper Supermarkets. As such, she handles public and media relations for the chain while overseeing promotions and special events, community relations, customer communications and the Golub Foundation, which supports community activities through charitable giving. Ms. Golub is the driving force behind many of the unique, personalized partnerships that earned Price Chopper national recognition as the 2006 recipient of Supermarket News distinguished Community Service Award.

Ms. Golub was born and raised in Schenectady, NY. She is a graduate of Niskayuna High School and holds a Bachelor’s Degree in English and Romance Languages with high honors from Bowdoin College in Brunswick, Maine. She is the proud mother of a son, Ira.

GE: Imagination at Work (and Play) at Summer Games

GE people worldwide are dedicated to turning imaginative ideas into leading products and services that help solve some of the world’s toughest problems. It is with this spirited character of willingness, pride and commitment to the community that General Manager Shawn Williams accepted the invitation to serve as event Co-Chair for the Summer Games.

Mr. Williams began his career with GE in 1986 on the Technical Sales Program for GE Supply. He progressed to hold numerous positions of increasing responsibility including Sales Engineer, Branch and Product Manager. In 1994, he moved to GE Industrial Systems where he worked as a Regional/District Sales Manager and Product General Manager for Commercial and Industrial markets. He joined GE Silicones as Director of GE Sealants & Adhesives (GESA) Consumer Sales and was named General Manager of GESA in September 2003.

A native of Chicago, Illinois, Mr. Williams earned a B.S. in Electrical Engineering from Purdue University and an MBA in General Management from the University of California at Berkeley. He resides in the Albany Capital District with his wife Tomita and their three children.

Special Olympics Torch to arrive in Albany, via local law enforcement escort, on June 10

June 10, 2004

The Special Olympics New York (SONY) Flame of Hope will arrive at Albany City Hall at noon on Thursday, June 10.

The Flame of Hope will be escorted by approximately 50 local law enforcement officials. Their run will begin in Schenectady and they will arrive at Albany City Hall via Central Avenue. At City Hall, there will be a brief presentation that will include remarks by SONY President and Chief Executive Officer Neal J. Johnson and Mayor Gerald D. Jennings.

The flame’s Capital Region visit is part of the Law Enforcement Torch Run, a statewide journey that will encompass 1,500 miles and 4,000 law enforcement officials, bringing the flame to Hofstra University in Long Island for SONY’s 2004 Summer Games (June 17-19). At Hofstra, the flame will be used to light the Special Olympics Cauldron, kicking off the Summer Games for approximately 2,800 Special Olympics athletes and coaches.

The flame will begin its local leg at 9:30 a.m., at the corners of State Street and Fehr Avenue in Schenectady. Throughout its Capital Region road trip, dozens of New York State Police and law enforcement officers from Albany, Colonie, Glenville, Rotterdam Schenectady, and other areas, will serve and protect the flame.

After the City Hall presentation, law enforcement officials will run the flame to the Medal of Honor Ceremony hosted by the Department of Correctional Services at the DOCS training academy on New Scotland Avenue. The flame will arrive at the DOCS training academy at approximately 2:30 p.m.

The LETR is the largest grassroots fund-raising and public awareness vehicle for Special Olympics in the world. In addition to carrying the Flame of Hope to their local, state or national Special Olympics games, law enforcement officials organize and conduct additional fund-raising activities such as Plane Pulls, Harley-Davidson raffles and golf tournaments.

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