Law Enforcement Torch Run Sparks Opening Ceremonies

June 6, 2010

The streets of Utica were lined with people cheering as the Flame of Hope made its way from the New Hartford Shopping Center to Utica City Hall early Friday morning – the Final Leg of the Special Olympics New York Law Enforcement Torch Run.

The Law Enforcement Torch Run (LETR) for Special Olympics is a year-round fundraising and awareness movement organized by law enforcement officers from around the world. Each year, officers from various law enforcement agencies across the state raise money and awareness for the athletes of Special Olympics New York by participating in the run. As local officers joined several athletes and their coaches in bringing the torch from Oneida to New Hartford Friday morning, they were quick to point out exactly why their participation in this event is so necessary. “It is something we are able to do to give back,” said Officer Jack Keller of New York State Police Troop D. “These athletes do so much, it is amazing just to see them compete, but also to be a part of what they do.” Members of the military were on hand to do their part as well. “Sports is an excellent outlet for anyone, and being here in support of these athletes is an excellent opportunity for us to show our support for our fellow citizens,” said Air Force Capt. John Hartsock.

But the torch run is only a small part of a much larger event that has an incredible impact on the lives of those involved, according to Patty Femia. Patty, her son Vincent, a three-sport Special Olympics athlete, and husband David, a Special Olympics coach, were this year’s honorary host family and they claim that the Special Olympics experience has been truly life-changing. “Is has been absolutely transformational for my family,” David said. “It has given us a large extended family, and I can’t even imagine life without it anymore,” Patty added.

However, the athletes and their families, and even law enforcement officers, are not the only ones to benefit from the Games and the values they bring. The city of Utica will also be greatly impacted by their role as the host of the 2010 State Summer Games. “It is a great thing that they do,” said Mayor David R. Roefaro. “These athletes put so much heart and soul into these games. For Utica to be able to host such a great event is something this community needs.” Apparently it is something the community wanted to, because within one week of the announcement to host the Games, Utica had already reached the necessary number of volunteers – an unprecedented response.

As the Flame of Hope made its final journey into Utica College’s Charles A. Gaetano Stadium later that night, guest speaker Rob Esche said it all. “Sports just let you know you’re alive,” he said. These athletes are alive indeed, and thanks to their presence here, so is the community. Let the Games begin!

Submitted by Christian P. Bochicchio

Summer Games Volunteer Notice

May 23, 2010

Thanks to the overwhelming support of the Utica community, we are happy to announce that we have filled all of the task-related volunteer roles needed to make our Summer Games athletes a success. However, we still have numerous opportunities for you to make a difference!

Athletes come to Summer Games from all across New York State. Many families cannot make the trip for the day so we need the community to be at the competitions to watch, cheer and light the fire within these champions to help them win the gold!

Join Fans in the Stands at Opening Ceremonies at Utica College on Friday evening, June 5 where Or, join Fans in the Stands at Sports Venues on Saturday, June 6 to witness our athletes in action and cheer them on to victory! (See sport venues below).

Please indicate your preference on your form.Venue size and location is subject to change and may limit the number of fans allowed at each venue. While we hope to accommodate all preferences, we ask that you be flexible to help us create a quality experience for our athletes.

Friday June 4, 2010 8 pm to 9:30 pm- OPEN SLOTS
Fans in the Stands Opening Ceremonies – Utica College

Saturday June 5, 2010 8 am to 5 pm- OPEN SLOTS
Fans in the Stands Aquatics (Utica College)
Fans in the Stands Track & Field (Proctor High School)
Fans in the Stands Basketball (SUNY IT/Donovan Middle School/Utica Recreation Center)
Fans in the Stands Volleyball (MVCC/Proctor High School)
Fans in the Stands Softball Throw (Proctor)
Fans in the Stands Bowling (Pin-O-Rama)
Fans in the Stands Gymnastics (Valley Gymnastics)
Fans in the Stand Tennis (MVCC)
Fans in the Stands Powerlifting (Utica College)

We encourage you to bring noisemakers, pom-poms, cowbells, etc. We will even have a limited supply of sign-making materials on-site when you check in as a Fan in the Stand to help you make signs to cheer on these determined athletes!

[ Back to Summer Games Event Page ] [ Sponsor an Athlete ]

Volunteer Helpful Hints

LUNCH is NOT provided- please bring a bag lunch with you or lunch will be available for purchase from venue concession stands.
Volunteers must be at least 13 years of age; those 13 through 15 years old must be accompanied by an adult – please do not bring young children to your assignment.
Outside events will occur regardless of the weather, so please dress accordingly!
If you have two assignments that have a time overlap, please report to your second assignment at the time given.
Please check for and venue information; addresses, phone numbers, directions, maps and etc.
Sometimes our sport competitions can end earlier than originally scheduled so please plan to be flexible.
Please keep in mind that in some cases your assignment may change and you may be placed in an assignment that is best suited to the athletes needs, your patience is greatly appreciated!

Utica College, 1600 Burrstone Road, Utica, NY 13502

Proctor High School, 1203 Hilton Avenue, Utica, NY 13501
Athletics- Track & Field
Softball Throw

MVCC, 1101 Sherman Drive, Utica, NY 13501

SUNY IT, 100 Seymour Road
Utica NY 13502

Donavan Middle School, 1701 Noyes Street, Utica, NY 13502

Utica Recreation Center, 220 Memorial Parkway
Utica, NY 13501

Pin O Rama, 1724 Genesee St., Utica, NY 13501

Valley Gymnastics, 145 New Hartford Street, New Hartford, NY 13413

Directions to State Summer Games >[ ]

Special Olympics New York State Summer Games in Utica – Only 5 Weeks to Go!

April 26, 2010

The 2010 State Summer Games in Utica are just weeks away on June 4th & 5th. More than 1,500 athletes and coaches from across the state are currently in training programs leading up to their participation at Games, the largest Special Olympics New York competition held annually. All events are free and open to the public.

On Friday, June 4th, from 9:00 to 10:00 AM, area law enforcement officers will carry the “Flame of Hope” down Genesee Street from the New Hartford Shopping Center to Utica City Hall on the Final Leg of the statewide Law Enforcement Torch Run leading up to the State Games.

Friday evening starting at 8:00 PM, Opening Ceremonies will be held at Utica College in the Charles A. Gaetano Stadium. This traditional event includes entertainment, the Parade of Athletes and the completion of the Law Enforcement Torch Run with the lighting of the Special Olympics Cauldron to signify the start of the Games.

On Saturday, June 5th, competition begins at 8:00 AM at multiple venues; Utica College – Aquatics and Power Lifting, MVCC – Tennis and Volleyball, SUNYIT -Basketball, Pin-o-Rama Lanes – Bowling, Valley Gymnastics – Gymnastics, Proctor High School – Athletics (Track & Field) and Volleyball, Donovan Middle School – Basketball and the Parkway Recreation Center – Basketball serving as competition sites.

Games Organizing Committee Co-Chair Maria Alberico, who is Assistant to Utica Mayor David Roefaro said, “Thanks to the great people of Utica and the surrounding community, all of the task-related volunteer roles needed for the State Summer Games have been filled. We’d like to encourage all to join “Fans in the Stands” both at Opening Ceremonies on Friday and at Saturday’s competition venues. As the athletes come to the Games from all across the state, many families cannot make the trip, so Fans are welcome to cheer the athletes on to victory. Fans are asked to bring noisemakers, pom-poms and cowbells. A limited supply of sign-making materials will be available at volunteer check-in. To register as a Fan please click here.

Co-Chair Joan Grande reported that “we are so proud of the outpouring of support from the Utica community for the 2010 State Summer Games. Over 60 organizations have stepped up to provide cash and in-kind support.” Gold level Sponsors include, Birnie Bus Service Inc., CSEA, Knights of Columbus, McDonalds Corporation, NYSUT: a Union of Professionals, Uno Chicago Grill, Wal-Mart, YNN TV, and WUMX-Mix 102.5 Radio. Silver Sponsors include Daniele at Valley View, Mattel, NBT Bank, The Hartford Insurance and UFCW Local 1.

June 4 – Opening Ceremonies Utica College, Charles A. Gaetano Stadium at 8: 00 pm

June 5 – Competitions begin at 8:00 am

2010 State Summer Games Coming to Utica

February 16, 2010

June 4-6, 2010 Special Olympics New York has announced that in June of 2010 and 2011 the State Summer Games will be held in Utica. More than 1,500 athletes and coaches from across the state will attend the Games, the largest Special Olympics competition held annually. The Games will be held from June 4 to 6 this year. 2,000 volunteers will be needed. All events are free and open to the public.

Special Olympics New York is also pleased to announce that Maria Alberico, Assistant to Utica Mayor David Roefaro and Joan Grande of McDonalds Corporation are Co-Chairs of the Summer Games Organizing Committee.

Said Ms. Alberico, “Utica and the members of the local community are honored and pleased to have been chosen as the city to host the upcoming Summer Special Olympics. The generosity and support of the Mohawk Valley is second to none when involved in events such as this. It is with great pleasure that we welcome the athletes and their families to our great city and we look forward to sharing in the excitement of the games to come.” Said Ms. Grande, “It is a pleasure to be part of such a wonderful event. I know that the entire community will be behind us to make this event not only successful but a memorable experience for all participants, volunteers and sponsors.”

On Friday morning, June 4, area Law Enforcement will carry the “Flame of Hope” through Downtown Utica, in the Final Leg of the statewide Torch Run leading up to the Games. That evening, Opening Ceremonies will be held at Utica College. This traditional event includes entertainment, 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.

On Saturday, June 5, competitions will include Aquatics, Basketball, Bowling, Powerlifting, Gymnastics, Tennis, Volleyball, and Athletics (Track & Field). Utica College will host most our athletes, along with MVCC, SUNYIT and Pin-O-Rama Lanes serving as competition sites.

“The State Games are a wonderful opportunity for our athletes to showcase their talents to a broad audience, helping to create new ways of appreciating and celebrating people with intellectual disabilities,” said Neal J. Johnson, President and CEO of Special Olympics New York. The 2010 State Summer Games are supported by the generosity of the local community. Gold level Sponsors include News 10 Now, WUMX-Mix 102.5 Radio, Wal-Mart, NYSUT: a Union of Professionals, Knights of Columbus and CSEA.

Click here download the Utica State Summer Games volunteer registration form and a poster for you to distribute to others you know, hang in break rooms, window fronts or etc. Simply fill out the registration form completely and fax, or mail it back to Stacy Gioeli at the Special Olympics NY headquarters office. This form must be filled out to be considered for volunteering. Please make sure you include your email address as you will receive an email verifying that we received the registration and then a letter with your volunteer assignment will be sent to you the week of May 24th.

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