December 2014

Greetings Supporter,

Julian English possesses a star quality that lights up every room he enters. His smile simultaneously exudes joy and confidence, two qualities in high demand attained by few. I first met Julian when he competed in the long jump at the 2013 Montgomery County Area Spring Games. At the time he was eight years old and yet, he sprinted down the runway and launched himself from the takeoff board with the precision and grace of a veteran long jumper who flies effortlessly through the air before splash-landing in the sand.

Over the last two years I have interacted with Julian on numerous occasions the most recent of which introduced a new dimension of Julian’s exceptional wide ranging talents. By definition, in our world Julian is boy with an intellectual disability. He processes information differently than you or I might but he certainly can process it. He may not test very well using so-called standardized tests but they don’t conform to his world.

When I asked his mom, Natasha Moulton-Levy, if we could engage Julian to record a radio commercial she jumped at the opportunity. She then told me that he doesn’t/can’t read. At least not in the traditional sense. She assured me that he would be prepared. I provided her with a 30 second script so Julian could practice. When he arrived at the 98Rock studio Julian brought HIS script with him and he read it flawlessly. Click here to hear his commercial.

He did so well that we asked him to do a year-end thank you message on video. To help you understand Julian’s world I have included his script with his “image” language. Click here to see his script.   Play along with me by trying to decipher Julian’s “image” language. Then click here to open up this file to see the images with subtitles using our language.

Your support helps us give athletes like Julian the opportunity to thrive on the field through sport and off the field in many ways. I am so proud that we can give Julian and other athletes these leadership opportunities that they might otherwise not have. As we celebrate the holidays I am grateful for support from people like you who invest in our mission. Julian is a gift that can be shared with more people in more venues because of you.

Send me an email to let me know what you think of Julian’s language at jschmutz@somd.org

 


Happy Holidays,


James C. Schmutz
President and CEO


  

 

Athlete News & Views

Thomas Smith - Proud to be a Global Messenger for Special Olympics MD

This month we caught up with Howard County athlete Thomas Smith and asked him to share what it means to him to be a Global Messenger.

In September I was invited to Global Messenger Training for Special Olympics. At first I did not know what that was.

Not all people know about Special Olympics.  It is a Global Messenger's job to tell them about it. I am proud to say that I am a Global Messenger now. 

At the training I learned how to talk to people about Special Olympics.  I tell people about our teamwork, sportsmanship and friendship. I talk about my sports and all the things that I can do because I am a Special Olympics athlete and that being a Special Olympics athlete makes me special, too.

I found out that I like to share what I know about Special Olympics with other people. People need to know about this so they will want to be a part of Special Olympics too.  It makes me proud to be someone who can help them find out about us.   I think that if other athletes can learn about being a Global Messenger it will make them happy and proud to be in Special Olympics. 

Upcoming Events

Competitions:

Special Events: 

 


"Old Foresters" Give Something Back at their Reunion


Pictured (Left to Right): Sam Hodapp (SOMD), Annu Singleton (SOMD), Fred Frank (Old Foresters), A. Harold ‘Pitty’ Dubois (Old Foresters), Jack Hoppenstein (Old Foresters)

Not Pictured: Old Foresters Co-Chair and Luncheon Master of Ceremonies, Herb Kasoff

Over 50 years ago, a number of gentlemen who were alumni of Forest Park High School in Baltimore City decided to host a unique reunion.  They invited all varsity lettered alumni of the high school to a banquet dinner, gathering athlete alumni from as far back as the first graduating class of 1927 to graduates from the 1950’s. read more →

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The Present - the gift that keeps giving

 A while ago, I read a great book, The Present, by Spencer Johnson. It truly is a book worth reading (if you haven’t already) about how being fully present in the moment will enhance your life. Special Olympics Maryland ,athletes including my daughter, Candace, often have the ability to be fully present in each moment of competition. It is a gift, a present, and something to cherish read more →

 

Carol Whiting pictured with her daughter Candace.   

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Fort Ritchie serves as new home for Cycling Competition Venue



Start/Finish Line for cycling event at Fort Ritchie, MD.


Fort Ritchie, located in Cascade, Maryland, is owned and operated by the Penn-Mar Development Corporation. Dori Nipps (Executive Director, Penn-Mar Development Corporation at Fort Ritchie), reached out to Special Olympics Maryland in early 2014 in hopes of securing a partnership that would benefit the athletes of Special Olympics Maryland by providing grounds, facilities, and competition opportunities to Special Olympics athletes. Given that Fort Ritchie is just over ten miles from Mount St. Mary’s University, the venue at Fort Ritchie proved to be in an ideal location to serve as the cycling competition venue as a part of the 2014 Fall Sports Festival.  read more →

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Myth:  The primary benefit for Special Olympics Maryland athletes is the extrinsic value of winning an award at a competition. (Note: At championship events awards are given to every competitor in order of their finish in each competition division.)

Fact: Through sport SOMD athletes develop skills that make them 50% more likely to succeed in the classroom and the workplace when compared to their non-Special Olympics peers. The fact is, SOMD athletes develop a wide range of skills that have a positive impact on their life beyond sport

 


                          

Giving Tuesday Raises $25,900 in one day for Special Olympics MD

December 2, 2014 was a great day for Special Olympics Maryland and for the state of Maryland. Thanks to the support we received from many of our donors, we will be able to provide 127 athletes with a full season of training and competition. But the great news doesn't stop there...as part of the Maryland Gives More Campaign, 310 non-profits in Maryland raised a combined total of $9 Million, setting the bar high and showing the nation we are the most generous state in America!  This amount represented 20% of the overall total raised for the entire campaign on Giving Tuesday. 

Volunteer Opportunities

If you’re inspired by the lives being transformed through Special Olympics Maryland, there are dozens of ways you can get involved. Visit us online to learn how you can volunteer.

 

   

The Corporate Plunge Challenge is the COOLEST team-building experience of the year!  Scheduled for Friday, January 23, 2015 the Corporate Plunge Challenge was created to provide corporate teams and other business entities, as well as service clubs, with a great team-building opportunity that provides financial support to Special Olympics Maryland.

Click here to learn more →


Spending Wisely in Maryland

86% of every dollar raised is spent on sports training and competition, and athlete retention and recruitment.

By the Numbers

  


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