April 2015

Greetings Supporter,

Our athletes are and forever will be the face and voice of Special Olympics Maryland. This list of volunteers is a small subset of the more than 7,000 volunteers who will always be linked to our athletes as the valuable drivers who provide countless opportunities that enable our athletes to show the world their exceptional abilities. These names represent just a few of the countless volunteers who together form the foundation for delivering high quality opportunities to Special Olympics Maryland athletes across the state:

Ed Mitchell, Tom Carski, John Rigley, Pam Yerg, Frank Altrichter, Ruth Vickers, Trish Miles, Bob Baker, Marilyn Miceli, Anne Harmon, Mary Lou Bucci, John Gallagher, George Hoehl, Gregg Meade, John Durbin, Laurie Brewer, Anna Albert, Michelle Taltys, LaDonna Schemm, Stacy Alford, Patsy Temple, Sandy Biggs, Jim Myrick, Pam Grosz, Rick Blessing, Marva Davis, Donna Holt, Dottie Turner, Frank Andracchi, Scott Lewis, Donny Boyd, Ken Brannan, Aaron Cline, Jerry Clark, Scott Mowery, Dave Wingate, Wayne Luoma, Ray Chadwick, Ed Chiolo, Mike Delligatti, Annu Singleton, Ben Collins, Jennifer Rapacki, Michael MacWilliams, John Newnan, Doug Holland, Jeff Spaulding, Danielle Bradshaw-Lee, Chuck Bealefeld, John Nesky, Frank Tewey, Gus Proctor, Barbara Natoli, Erik Lynn, Steve Ivory, Dennis Eads, David Greenwood, Scott Bell, Greg Shipley, Jim McTygue, Bill Murphy, Jack Mehl, Jack Burke, Allan Waschak, Neil Coffee, Ron Freeman, Rick McCauley, Jack Brosius, Tracy Lea, JR Hall, Debbie Credito, Janice Colbert, Lauren Walker, Rachel Duncan, Chris Casey, Kathy Donnelly, Kirk Neal, Erin McNaboe, Katie Shannon, Amanda Loverde, Mary Kokosko, Doug Brown, Diane Mikilus, Michael Ahern, Darryl Despeaux, Terry Waters, Bill Ingam

April 12th – 18th marked National Volunteer Week. Given the incredible talent and time that our volunteers invest in support of our athletes and the mission it’s important to acknowledge those considerable efforts. So on behalf of our 7,169 athletes I want to thank you and all of our volunteers and donors who support our athletes.

As we prepare to celebrate the 45th anniversary of our Summer Games it is especially compelling to remember how Special Olympics Maryland got started. So it’s most appropriate that the first three names on the list above are Ed Mitchell, Tom Carski and John Rigley, all pioneers who in 1970 led a legion of volunteers (many of whom came from the Jaycees) to host the first ever Summer Games at Towson State College (Towson University). Ed, Tom and John went on to launch the Program that over 45 years later has grown to include 7,169 athletes who train and compete in 24 sports. With that in mind on April 21st, Special Olympics Maryland athlete and Board Member Annu Singleton joined me for the honor of interviewing these three humble men.

Ed, Tom and John told some great stories including this little nugget. Tom lived down the street from a liquor store that was owned by Baltimore Colts, Hall of Famer, the late Art Donovan. Tom described Art as “the go to guy” for sourcing key items for Summer Games like 3,000 hamburgers and buns to feed athletes and volunteers.  If Art couldn’t provide it, he had the contacts who could. In addition to Art Donovan’s support they also garnered support from Donovan’s teammates like Johnny Unitas(click here to see his signature on the original volunteer sign in sheet)and Gino Marcetti. The star power also included the likes of Brooks Robinson and Wes Unseld who played for the Baltimore Bullets at the time. Unseld’s participation proved uniquely valuable. During the Opening Ceremony Parade of Athletes he carried an athlete on his back while the athlete held a makeshift propane torch to light the cauldron as part of the ceremony. Click here to see the image that was picked up by the two Baltimore papers and along with an extensive article helped garner valuable attention for SOMD.

The successful introduction and evolution of the mission required good volunteers, successful public and media relations and effective procurement of financial resources and in-kind contributions. Sound familiar? Thanks to Ed, Tom and John they built a strong foundation that has enabled Special Olympics Maryland to grow over the years to meet the needs of individuals with Intellectual disabilities. So as I look forward to continued growth in the future I am inspired by and indebted to these three extraordinary gentlemen for their tireless efforts at a time when institutions and special education centers were the prevailing means for serving individuals with intellectual disabilities. Thank you Ed. Thank you Tom. Thank you John.

 Always Brave in the Attempt,                      

James C. Schmutz
President and CEO

Chris Dooley  

Hometown:  Denton, MD

Joined Special Olympics: 2010 

Sports: kayaking, aquatics, cycling, golf, powerlifting and basketball

Excited about: competing in kayaking at the the World Games in Los Angeles this coming July 

Wants you to know:  I am an usher at church and a member of the Knights of Columbus.  I'm easy to get along with and outgoing.

Video link:  click here to meet Chris and hear his message

You can also click here to make a donation to Chris as he raises money to support his travel and lodging at the upcoming World Games in July.


Meet the Founders of 
Special Olympics Maryland

 Pictured from left to right:  John Rigley,
Ed Mitchell and Tom Carski


Upcoming Events


Special Events:

If you have the time,
we have the opportunity.  

Volunteer positions are now available at our upcoming 2015 Summer Games 
at Towson University

Friday, June 5th
Saturday, June 6th
Sunday, June 7th

Towson University
(8000 York Road, Towson, MD 21252)

Athletes will travel to Towson University to compete in Athletics, Aquatics, Bocce, Cheerleading, and Softball  

Click here to register to volunteer

For more information please email Kelly Cox kcox@somd.org 

Athlete Leadership Programs: 
One Life Influencing Another

 "Leadership is not about titles, positions, or flow charts. It is about one life influencing another."
John C. Maxwell

At Special Olympics Maryland there are no greater influencers than the 7,169 athletes who participate year round in the 24 sports offered. So then leadership must come from the athletes whom the program effects the most. That is why on April 10th-11th eighteen athletes from around the state came to the Special Olympics Maryland headquarters to begin their leadership journey through the Athlete Leadership Program (ALPs) and the Beginner Global Messenger training.

There are three things that describe ALPs: Providing athletes with choices of how they want to be involved in their own program, inviting athletes to serve in positions of influence in the organization (like serving on a board or as a coach or public speaker), and providing training for existing leaders in how to welcome and work with you in these new roles.

The role of a Global Messenger is to promote, educate and inform others about the mission, philosophy, benefits and direction of Special Olympics Maryland through public speaking and public appearances on behalf of Special Olympics.  The Global Messenger should be a current participant in Special Olympics Maryland who has enthusiasm for Special Olympics Maryland and a willingness to share with others. 

Each athlete learned about the mission and facts about Special Olympics and how to share that with the world through public speaking. They developed an Elevator Speech and prepared a speech by breaking down the parts of a speech. Having taken those lessons and formulated the framework of the speech the class concentrated on Body Language, Vocal Volume and Variety, Developing a Catch Line and deciding on their target audiences among many other lessons.

At the end of the two day training each athlete put all the pieces together and presented a 1-2 minute speech to the class. (Click on the name of the athlete to read their final speech).

This was a very strong class and we are proud to announce that the following athletes completed the course with great skill.

Anne Arundel County- Elaina Camacho and Michael Heup
Baltimore County- Ellen Scheel 
Baltimore City-Annu Singleton and Matthew Weingram,
Carroll County- Bryan Barry 
Frederick County- Candace Whiting 
Harford County-Stacey Hull 
St. Mary's County- Shelby Boyer and Kegan Zimmerman
Upper Shore’s Chris Dooley 

In order for each athlete to earn their certification, they must complete three public speaking opportunities in the next 6 months.

Let us know if you have an opportunity that you would like a Special Olympics athlete to speak at by emailing Jason Schriml at jschriml@somd.org

 Knights of Columbus:  
45 years and still going strong

This July, the 2015 Special Olympics World Games will be held in Los Angeles, and throughout the nine days, more than 7000 athletes from 177 different countries will compete in 25 different sports.   Chris Dooley and Ben Stevick are two of the athletes who have been selected to represent Maryland and compete at the World Games. Chris and Ben are both very busy, but two of the things they love most are competing in Special Olympics and being involved with the Knights of Columbus, which often times, go hand in hand.

Chris will compete in kayaking and is excited to meet and compete against new athletes from around the world. Chris is active with the Knights of Columbus in Easton, Maryland. He is a member of the Regina Coeli Council and the Father Joseph Mosely Assembly. He loves being a Knight because he enjoys the meetings and loves getting to help others in his community. 

Ben Stevick will compete in equestrian at the 2015 Special Olympics World Games and is looking forward to getting to learn a new horse in a new environment. Ben is a member of the Knights Patuxent Council #2203. He began volunteering with the Knights at the age of 14; helping at concession stands, raising money for Special Olympics.  At the age of 18, Ben became a Knight himself and enjoys his time serving others.

The Knights of Columbus have been supporting Special Olympics Maryland (SOMD) since the inception of the program in 1970. Over the past 45 years, the Knights have been right alongside Special Olympics athletes at the local, state, and national levels. Here in Maryland, Knights State Deputy Steve Adamczyk, has committed to supporting SOMD throughout his term. Special Olympics Maryland has benefitted from the Knights’ increased volunteerism, financial support, and of course, their continued encouragement of the athletes.

At a national level, in Canada and the United States, the Knights of Columbus donated 1.4 million dollars to cover the costs of food, transportation, and entertainment for every athlete attending the 2015 Special Olympics World Games from both countries. Please click here to support Ben, Chris or any of the six athletes who are attending the 2015 Special Olympics World Games.


MYTH: Individuals with intellectual disabilities are incapable of contributing to society in a meaningful way.

FACT Because those of you receiving this e-newsletter are supporters of Special Olympics Maryland, you may scoff at this myth and suggest that we have come to a point in 2015 where everyone knows that individuals with intellectual disabilities make meaningful contributions to advancing society on a daily basis. Our athlete of the month Chris Dooley embodies the spirit of making meaningful contributions by serving as a member of the Knights of Columbus having earned the designation of 4th Degree Knight. Additionally, the Special Olympics Maryland Athlete Congress has 25 athlete members who meet three times annually to address critical issues related to the SOMD mission and their experience.

Help Carry the Torch Across Maryland!

Come join us for a fun, impactful, once in a lifetime opportunity to raise awareness and funds for Special Olympics as part of the festivities leading up to the 2015 Special Olympics World Summer Games in Los Angeles, CA…the Special Olympics Unified Relay Across America presented by Bank of America (URAA).  The URAA combines grassroots activation covering thousands of miles across America with built-in global attention provided by the official media partner for the relay, Disney/ABC/ESPN. Click here to see the latest promotional video about this event.

Designed to leave a legacy of awareness and support for Special Olympics Programs across the United States the URAA aims to impact far beyond the 7,000 athletes (including 6 Special Olympics Maryland athletes!) from 177 countries who will attend the Games in Los Angeles which open on July 15th.  As a torchbearer, you will join thousands of other torchbearers and teams in celebrating the lives of more than 4.45 million individuals around the world with intellectual disabilities who train and compete year-round as Special Olympics athletes. 

The URAA will begin on the morning of May 26th when the Torch will start its journey across the US in Washington DC, and enter Maryland at noon on Rt 1 in Mt. Rainier.  The Torch will be carried along Rt 1 through Hyattsville and College Park, up through Howard County into Baltimore, and ending at Oriole Park at Camden Yards for an end of day celebration!  On May 27th the Torch will travel down Rt 2 from Baltimore, through Glen Burnie and Severna Park ending up at Annapolis’s City Dock for another celebration. On May 28th the Torch will run from Annapolis through Davidsonville along Rt 214 into Bowie and Largo and ending up in Washington DC.

Click here to register now.  For more information about the relay please contact Tyler Buck, our Coordinator of Corporate and Community Partnerships, at 410-242-1515 ext. 111, or email him at tbuck@somd.org

Giving back just got easier!

Did you know that Amazon Smile will make a donation directly to Special Olympics Maryland for items you purchase?  Click here to start shopping!

Help support the Maryland Delegation of athletes at the upcoming World Games

You can help one or all six of our athletes who will be representing Maryland at the 2015 Special Olympics World Games being held this July in Los Angeles, CA. Just click here to meet our athletes and follow the links to their giving page.

Athletes Served





2013-2014 CHANGE

(+ 2.8%)

(+ 196 athletes)

Spending Wisely in Maryland

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


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