Special Olympics New York State Winter Games – February 17th & 18th – Hudson Valley Region


The Special Olympics New York State Winter Games will take place February 17-18, 2017 in various venues throughout the Hudson Valley.  Nearly 900 Athletes and Coaches will be on hand from across the state to compete in the State Winter Games which is one of two annual state level competitions and over 5,000 regional competitions held each year throughout New York.  Athletes have trained for at least eight weeks in their hometowns and competed locally and regionally to qualify to participation at this level.  All events are free and open to the public.

The platinum sponsor of the 2017 Winter Games is the Westchester Medical Center Health Network.  The gold level partners are Central Hudson Gas & Electric, The ARC of Dutchess, Chobani Foundation, and Arnoff Moving & Storage.

County Executive Marcus Molinaro is the Honorary Chair of the 2017 State Winter Games. The Games Organizing Committee (GOC) is organizing the various aspects of the event, securing local community support and sponsorship, and working to provide a unique Hudson Valley feel to the Games.  The Co-Chairs of the 2017 State Winter Games GOC are Mary Kay Vrba, president and CEO of Dutchess Tourism Inc., and Frank M. Castella Jr., president and CEO of the Dutchess County Regional Chamber of Commerce.  This marks the second year of a two-year stay for the State Winter Games in the Hudson Valley Region.



Opening Ceremonies:

Friday, February 17th, 8pm

Mid-Hudson Civic Center

Opening Ceremonies will feature the customary parade of athletes, local entertainment and speakers.   The Opening Ceremonies will be emceed by Joe Daily.   County Executive Marc Molinaro will address the crowd. Town of Poughkeepsie Officer Chris Hamel and Special Olympic Athletes Quincy Ferguson (New Horizons) and Jonathan Peterson (Anderson Center) along with fellow members of the Law Enforcement community will carry the Flame of Hope into Opening Ceremonies to light the official cauldron and declare the 2017 State Winter Games open.


Athletic Competition, Saturday, February 18th, 8:30am-5:00pm

10:00am – 3:30pm

Alpine Skiing

Holiday Mountain Ski Area, 99 Holiday Mountain Road in Monticello


9:30am – 3:00pm

Cross Country Skiing

Bowdoin Park, 85 Sheafe Rd. Wappingers Falls, NY 12590


9:45am – 3:30pm


Bowdoin Park, 85 Sheafe Rd. Wappingers Falls, NY 12590


9:30am – 2:00pm

Figure Skating

McCann Ice Arena (Mid-Hudson Civic Center), 14 Civic Center Plaza in the City of Poughkeepsie


8:30am – 4:00pm

Floor Hockey Team

Stewart Air National Guard, 1 Maguire Way in Newburgh

All events and volunteer information is available at www.specialolympicsnewyork.org/winter.


Thank you for the generous support of our partners who help to make the 2017 State Winter Games possible:

Platinum Sponsor – Westchester Medical Center Health Network

Gold Sponsors – Central Hudson Gas & Electric, The ARC of Dutchess, Arnoff Moving & Storage, and Chobani Foundation.

Silver Sponsors  – Access: Supports for Living, KeyBank, Greystone Programs, and Turk Hospitality Group.

Bronze Sponsors – Abilities First, Inc., Adams Fairacre Farms, Anderson Center for Autism, Community Foundation of the Hudson Valley, M&T Bank, Rose & Kiernan, Poughkeepsie Galleria, Marshall & Sterling Insurance, New Horizons Resources, Dutchess County Regional Chamber of Commerce, Dutchess Tourism, Inc., 2005 Empire State Games Local Organizing Committee, Fidelis Care, iHeart Media, and IBM.

Media Sponsors  – Poughkeepsie Journal,  iHeartRadio, Townsquare Media, Pamal Broadcasting, Highway Designs, and J6 Media Works

Statewide Partners –  Walmart, CSEA, Knights of Columbus, NYSUT,  Dunkin’ Donuts, Cannon, TD Bank, Amtrak, and Hunton & Williams

Special Olympics New York provides year-round sports training and competition in 22 Olympic-style sports to children and adults with intellectual disabilities at no cost to the athletes, their families or caregivers. Over 68,000 athletes train and compete with Special Olympics New York, the largest Special Olympics program in North America.

Anticipation Mounts for Special Olympics New York State Winter Games

Officials look to surpass record-breaking volunteer effort for Feb. 17-18 event

Poughkeepsie… With just one month to go before the Opening Ceremonies for the 2017 Winter Games, Dutchess County Executive Marc Molinaro today welcomed Special Olympics New York President and CEO Neal J. Johnson and local athletes today to the Hudson Valley, which will host the Winter Games on Feb. 17th-18th, as part of a final push for volunteers.

For the second straight year, Dutchess, Orange and Sullivan counties will host the annual event, which will bring nearly 1,000 athletes and coaches from around the state to the Hudson Valley.

“This year’s Winter Games will look to replicate the record-breaking event we enjoyed last year in the Hudson Valley,” Mr. Johnson said. “From the outpouring of encouragement our athletes received during the opening ceremony and competition in 2016, to the number of volunteers and support from local sponsors who made the Winter Games possible, we couldn’t be happier to return to the region. I know the Hudson Valley will again make this weekend memorable for all involved, again setting an example for future Winter Games throughout the state.”

The Hudson Valley set records in 2016 for both the number of volunteers and time period in which they signed up. Building on that historic volunteer turnout, organizers again encouraged local residents to volunteer to make the Winter Games as successful as possible.
County Executive Molinaro, who again serves as the Honorary Chair for the 2017 Winter Games, said, “We in Dutchess County have asked our residents to THINK DIFFERENTLY about our neighbors with special needs, and the Special Olympics are a great example of how that initiative has been embraced in our community. Wherever local volunteers have been needed – setting up competition venues, keeping score, rooting for these exceptional athletes from the stands – our residents have stepped up and answered the call to THINK DIFFERENTLY. I’m confident we’ll see a final surge in volunteers to help us surpass the historic levels we set in 2016. This inspirational weekend of competition and friendship will be one in which everyone involved will take pride, and Dutchess County is honored to be the center of activity for the 2017 Winter Games.”
In addition to service volunteers, Special Olympics New York seeks volunteers to be Fans in the Stands for the weekend. Athletes will arrive at the State Winter Games from all over New York, and many families cannot make the trip. Volunteers from the community are needed to attend the competitions, watch and cheer for these champions. For more information on all volunteer opportunities, including those to cheer for the athletes during competition, visit www.SpecialOlympicsNY.org.

The Games Organizing Committee (GOC) has organized the various aspects of the event, securing local community support and sponsorship, and working to provide a unique Hudson Valley feel to the Games. The Co-Chairs of the 2017 State Winter Games GOC are Mary Kay Vrba, president and CEO of Dutchess Tourism Inc., and Frank M. Castella Jr., president and CEO of the Dutchess County Regional Chamber of Commerce.

The 2017 State Winter Games will commence on February 17th with Opening Ceremonies, including a ceremonial parade of athletes, motivational speeches, local entertainment and the Law Enforcement Torch Run at the Mid-Hudson Civic Center in the City of Poughkeepsie. The Mid-Hudson Civic Center will also host Closing Ceremonies and a Victory Dance on February 18th.

Event venues include:
• Alpine Skiing – Holiday Mountain Ski Area, 99 Holiday Mountain Road in Monticello
• Cross-Country Skiing and Snowshoeing – Bowdoin Park, 85 Sheafe Road in the Town of Poughkeepsie
• Figure Skating – McCann Ice Arena, 14 Civic Center Plaza in the City of Poughkeepsie
• Floor Hockey – Stewart Air National Guard Base, 1 Maguire Way in Newburgh

“The generosity of our local hotels, competition venues and various partners in the Hudson Valley is unparalleled anywhere in New York State,” Mr. Castella said. “Their support will again ensure athletes and their families will not incur any cost to take part in this terrific event. We thank all who have pledged their support, and we look forward to adding even more volunteers to our growing list, all of whom will selflessly give their time to benefit this worthy cause.”

The Platinum Sponsor for the State Winter Games is Westchester Medical Center Health Network. At the Gold sponsorship level, The Arc of Dutchess, Arnoff Moving & Storage, and Central Hudson Gas & Electric. At the Silver level, Access: Support for Living, Chobani, Greystone Programs, and Turk Hospitality Group are sponsors. At the Bronze level, Abilities First, Adams Fairacre Farms, Anderson Center for Autism, Marshall & Sterling Insurance, M&T Bank, and New Horizons Resources are sponsors. Media sponsors include the Poughkeepsie Journal, iHeartMedia, Townsquare Media, Pamal Broadcasting, Highway Displays, and J6 MediaWorks.

“Our residents’ giving nature makes us distinctly Dutchess, and it’s one of the reasons visitors from across the world travel to our county each year. It’s also what makes hosting these Winter Games so inspiring – seeing our community answer our call and come out in force to support these athletes in whatever way they can,” Ms. Vrba said. “There’s still time for local residents to sign up to volunteer, giving of themselves while ensuring their neighbors from across the state enjoy a weekend of fun and camaraderie they’ll never forget.”

Special Olympics New York will host the Fishkill Polar Plunge at Sharpe Reservation on Saturday, Feb. 25th. Participants can support the athletes of Special Olympics New York by taking a dip in the chilly waters. Registration is open at www.PolarplungeNY.org. Donors are asked to raise $100 to receive an official Polar Plunge sweatshirt.

Visit the Winter Games page for more information.



4 January, 2017

Competitions, Coaching and Volunteer Opportunities:
One of our esteemed State Athlete Congress members has been training all Winter indoors for an upcoming “by invitation only” Tennis Tournament in Virginia call The Xperience. Tom Adimari will be trekking down to Charlotte, Va with his family to compete against top tennis players form all over the US and even a couple of Swiss players at this elite tournament over the MLK holiday weekend. We wish Tom the greatest of success in his endeavors at the Boar’s Head Inn and Tennis Facility. Good Luck and safe travels!!

Most of the 2017 Spring events are posted on the calendar. Updates are being made and posted into the calendar as the information is gathered. For more information about upcoming events, please visit our calendar and simply click on the events that interest you. If you need more finite information, please contact Mercedes at 845.262.6010 or click her name to email her directly: Mercedes, vincent@nyso.org

For information on upcoming events, please check out the calendar link below.
Hudson Valley Regional CALENDAR

***Please be advised: We are hosting two (2) Time Trials (East & West) as we always do. However, there will be only ONE (1) Spring Games held at West Point. This event, due to the influx of athletes and other factors, will likely be extended about 60-90 minutes. Please understand this event is held a world class facility that only few have the opportunity to compete at. We will keep you posted and updated on any and all information as we receive it.

The upcoming FISHKILL Polar Plunge on 25 February, is one of our largest annual fundraisers. It allows us the ability to provide services at NO/ZERO cost to our athletes. Please support this event in any way you can. Give us a shout if you are interested in donating or helping out in any way. See Fundraising in the Valley below for contact info.

Coaches training will be offered on the following date: Sunday, 5 February, 2017 @ Copper Beech Middle School (Yorktown) at 10AM. Aquatics, Athletics & Basketball Training will be offered immediately followed by a General Orientation. If interested, contact Linda Efraimsen, lefraimsen@nyso.org or phone 845.262.6024.

Our Adaptive Games (MATP) event was held on Wednesday, 2 November beginning at 6:30PM at the West Haverstraw Community Center. The volunteers at this event were awesome!! Thanks to all involved fro providing our most challenged athletes with an opportunity to shine. We are incredibly grateful. Special thanks to the local Elks for continually supporting this event.

The Rockland Floor Hockey league began on Wednesday, 16 November and will run every Wednesday thru 8 February, 2017.

Fundraising in the Valley…

The 19th Annual Fishkill Polar Plunge takes place on Saturday, February 25th, 2017
at Sharpe Reservation!!

Two Plunge Times: 10AM and 2PM
Contact: Teresa Gilli – 845-262-6011 fro more information.

2016 – 2nd Annual Rockland Polar Plunge – 11/12/16

2016 – 2nd Annual Rockland Polar Plunge – 11/12/16

Despite the cold, you all leaped into the icy cold water for our Athletes! Thank you to all who joined us, the participants, the supporters, Lake Welch Beach, 100.7 WHUD, the Sponsors (Somers Lions and Chestnut Ridge Transporation), the SP EMS, the SP DIVERS, the volunteers, the spectators, the vendors, families, coaches, and friends! Currently, raising over $21,000 for our Athletes! AWESOME!

To view photos and you do not have facebook, CLICK HERE

To view photos on facebook, CLICK HERE!

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