SONY kicks off countdown to Winter Games

December 6, 2004

Special Olympics New York day proclaimed in Syracuse As the end of 2004 draws to a close Special Olympics New York (SONY) is making news in Syracuse. On Tuesday, December 7th, SONY held a press conference on the ice of the War Memorial to begin the countdown to the 2005 Winter Games.

President and Chief Executive Officer of SONY, Neal J. Johnson directed the press conference. Special Olympic Athlete and Global Messenger Megan O’Hara spoke about her involvement with SONY and her excitement that the games are coming to her backyard. Megan also talked about her claim to fame, appearing on a Wheaties box back in 1998.

Onondaga County Executive, Nicholas J. Pirro and Charles Everett, a representative from Mayor Matthew J. Driscoll’s office, read a proclamation declaring Tuesday, December 7th, Special Olympics New York day in Syracuse. County Executive Pirro also spoke about our inspirational athletes and their on and off the field accomplishments.

SONY’s 2005 Winter Games are presented by P&C Food and Pharmacy. Director of Consumer and Public Affairs for P&C, Mary Anne Hankins, said her company is proud to be the presenting sponsor and excited to be a part of the Winter Games.

Vice President of Marketing for the Oncenter, Jerry Keohane, welcomed SONY to the facility. The Oncenter Complex will be the site for most of the competition during the Winter Games. President of the Syracuse Convention & Visitors Bureau, Doug Small, talked about the economic impact the Winter Games will have on the city of Syracuse and the surrounding area.

“The press conference was well attended by local television stations, the local newspaper and radio stations,” said Neal J. Johnson. “With the amount of press coverage we were able to get, we hope to have created a buzz about the games that will translate into more sponsors, more volunteers, and more fans coming out to see our greatest asset; our athletes.”

After the press conference concluded the television stations had an opportunity to interview athletes and SONY staff. Figure Skater Cori Piels and Speed Skaters Asha Renford and Jessica Carino, all from the Genesee Region, took to the ice after the press conference to demonstrate their skills for the news crews.

The 2005 Winter Games, presented by P&C Food and Pharmacy, is coming to Syracuse from February 11-13th. For more information on sponsorships call Rebecca Santoli at 1-800-836-6976 ext. 105 or e-mail at To volunteer call Diana Bennett at 1-800-836-6976 extension 111 or email at