Special Olympics New York State Summer Games Return to Utica

April 12, 2011

Special Olympics New York State Summer Games Return to Utica
Utica, NY – The 2011 State Summer Games are coming back to Utica June 10-12, 2011. The Mohawk Valley will host than 1,500 athletes and coaches which is the largest Special Olympics New York competition of the year.

Athletes will complete in eight Olympic sports including aquatics, basketball, track and field, bowling, volleyball, gymnastics, tennis and powerlifting throughout the Utica area.

Opening Ceremonies will take place Friday June 10, 2011 at 8 p.m. at the Utica College 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.

Honorary Family includes Special Olympics athlete Theresa Clark and her parents Dr. (Chris) and Mrs. (Linda) Clark. Theresa participates in four sports including aquatics. The Clarks are residents of New Hartford.

Special Olympics New York, which does not charge athletes to participate, provides year-round sports training and athletic competition in a variety of Olympic-style sports 51,809 children and adults with intellectual disabilities.

2011 State Winter Games Volunteer Announcement

January 21, 2011
VOLUNTEER REGISTRATION IS CLOSED

THANK YOU to the wonderful Syracuse community to being so generous with your time!!

Pre-registration for Volunteer assignments has closed; however, we still need more “Fans in the Stands”. This is our cheering section we have for the athletes- as being cheered on makes for the best competition! Simply select a venue that looks good to you and bring your friends and family! Bring pom-poms, signs and etc to make it even more fun! A “Fan Station” will be available to make signs at each location.

Please report to the Volunteer Registration area upon your arrival at the venue and you will be checked in as a “FAN”. Timing is suggested from 9am-2pm at all the venues but we encourage everyone to come in the morning as sometimes competition can end earlier than expected.

Venue Addresses:

Oncenter Complex -Floor Hockey
800 South State Street
Syracuse, NY 13202

War Memorial – Figure Skating & Speed Skating
515 Montgomery Street
Syracuse, NY, 13202

Toggenburg Mountain- Alpine Skiing
PO Box 162
1135 Toggenburg Rd
Fabius, NY 13063

Highland Forest- Nordic Skiing
PO Box 31
Highland Park Rd
Fabius, NY 13063

Thornden Park- Snowshoe
S. Beach Street
Syracuse, NY 13210

The 2011 Special Olympics New York Winter Games
are proudly sponsored by YNN, Galaxy Communications, Denny’s, CSEA, Citizen’s Bank, the Knights
of Columbus, and NYSUT.

2011 STATE WINTER GAMES – SYRACUSE – FEBRUARY 4-5

December 10, 2010

Special Olympics New York officials have announced that for the second consecutive year, the State Winter Games will be held in February in Syracuse. The Winter Games are one of three annual state games and one of more than 4,000 total competitive experiences held each year throughout New York.

On the weekend of February 4-5, 2011, it is anticipated that hundreds of Special Olympics New York athletes and coaches from across the state will join together to participate in a variety of athletic competitions including Floor Hockey at the Oncenter, Figure Skating and Speed Skating at the War Memorial, Nordic Skiing at Highland Forest, Snowshoeing at Thornden Park and Alpine Skiing at Toggenburg Mountain.

Co-Honorary Chairs of the State Winter Games are Joanne Mahoney, Onondaga County Executive and James Gaspo, President, Citizens Bank. Co-Games Organizing Committee Chairs are William Fisher and Ann Rooney, also from the Onondaga County Executive’s office. Citizens Bank and Wegmans Food Markets are Premiere event sponsors.

“I am thrilled that once again the Special Olympics Winter games will take place in Syracuse” said County Executive Joanie Mahoney. “This competition provides a terrific forum for athletes from across New York to showcase their talents, while also providing the community an opportunity to volunteer at such an important and rewarding athletic event.”

All State Winter Games events are free and open to the public.

Opening Ceremonies: Friday, February 4 at 7:00 PM at the On Center Complex, featuring the Parade of Athletes, entertainment and the lighting of the Special Olympics Cauldron. Olympic Village, a recreation area for athletes and the public, will be open at the On Center prior to Opening Ceremonies. After Opening Ceremonies, floor hockey pairing games will be held at the Oncenter to division the athletes for the following day’s competition.
Athletic Competition: Saturday, February 5, starting at 8:30 AM in six Olympic-style sports.

VOLUNTEER REGISTRATION IS CLOSED

THANK YOU to the wonderful Syracuse community to being so generous with your time!!

Pre-registration for Volunteer assignments has closed; however, we still need more “Fans in the Stands”. This is our cheering section we have for the athletes- as being cheered on makes for the best competition! Simply select a venue that looks good to you and bring your friends and family! Bring pom-poms, signs and etc to make it even more fun! A “Fan Station” will be available to make signs at each location.

Please report to the Volunteer Registration area upon your arrival at the venue and you will be checked in as a “FAN”. Timing is suggested from 9am-2pm at all the venues but we encourage everyone to come in the morning as sometimes competition can end earlier than expected.

Venue Addresses:

Oncenter Complex -Floor Hockey
800 South State Street
Syracuse, NY 13202

War Memorial – Figure Skating & Speed Skating
515 Montgomery Street
Syracuse, NY, 13202

Toggenburg Mountain- Alpine Skiing
PO Box 162
1135 Toggenburg Rd
Fabius, NY 13063

Highland Forest- Nordic Skiing
PO Box 31
Highland Park Rd
Fabius, NY 13063

Thornden Park- Snowshoe
S. Beach Street
Syracuse, NY 13210

For more information on volunteering, please visit the event page, email volunteer@nyso.org or call 518-388-0791.

Special Olympics New York which does not charge athletes to participate, provides year-round sports training and athletic competition in a variety of Olympic-style sports for more than 48,000 children and adults with intellectual disabilities.

The 2011 Special Olympics New York Winter Games
are proudly sponsored by YNN, Galaxy Communications, Denny’s, CSEA, Citizen’s Bank, the Knights
of Columbus, and NYSUT.

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


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