May 2016

Greetings Supporter,

Special Olympics was named the Top Disability Organization in the prestigious Harris Poll 28th Annual EquiTrend Study released April 20. The poll reveals the strongest brands in nearly 100 categories across a wide variety of industries including media, travel, financial, automotive, entertainment, retail, restaurant and household brands, based on consumer response.

On the surface, this is positive news in which we can take pride. Yet every day…and I mean every day, I ask, why do we only have 7,311 athletes participating from among the estimated 115,000 individuals with intellectual disabilities who live in Maryland? That’s only 6.3%.

So what are we doing about it? For starters, we established a growth goal to have 20,000 active athletes participating by 2025. Over the next several months, our staff will be working with our Area Program leadership volunteers who run the program in communities across the state and our Board of Directors to draft a strategic plan to guide our efforts over the next three years.

As our athletes, families, volunteers and supporters eagerly anticipate our 46th Annual Summer Games at Towson University, June 10 -12, we celebrate all of our athletes, mindful of all the work still to be done to include more. This year’s Summer Games theme is “Be a Champion,” so I invite you to come witness our athletes, families, volunteers, corporate and community partners and other supporters in action…all as Champions. If you have never been to a Special Olympics competition I urge you to join us and have your life transformed. We are hosting tours on Saturday and Sunday so that you can get a first-hand look at what Summer Games is all about and see our athletes compete. Click here to sign up for a tour.

You can also support our athletes, coaches, and families by volunteering at both competition and non-competition venues throughout the weekend - visit our Volunteer Opportunity Page to register. Registration will be open through Wednesday, June 8.

Click below to read my full message.

 


Creating a world where opportunity
is not limited by disability,      
                


James C. Schmutz
President and CEO

I'm pictured above at an Aquatics competition with athlete Nick Stewart from Howard County at the 2015 Summer Games. Nick is our Law Enforcement Torch Run Ambassador.

ATHLETE of the MONTH
April Reed

Hometown: Washington County, MD

Sports: Bowling, Equestrian, Swimming

Favorite Hobby: Scrapbooking

Wants you to know: April is a big Baltimore Orioles fan and admires Cal Ripken, Jr.

Video link: Click here to watch April's interview!

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UPCOMING COMPETITION

 

The 2016 Special Olympics Maryland Summer Games are almost here! This year's competitions will take place from June 10 - 12 at Towson University. Participants will include 1,500 athletes, 400 coaches, 225 Unified Partners, and 500 volunteers from throughout the state. We can't wait to see you there! Click here for more information.


Toni Duncan Selected to Final Leg Team at 2017 World Games


Toni Duncan, a U.S. Probation Officer for the District of Maryland, was selected to be part of the Final Leg team for the Law Enforcement Torch Run at the 2017 World Games in Austria. The team will carry the Flame of Hope through Austria before arriving at the Opening Ceremonies.

 

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Interscholastic Unified Sports Results

May was a very busy month for Interscholastic Unified Sports across Maryland. On May 12th, the 2016 Outdoor Bocce Championships were held at Washington College. A week later, students from across the state competed in the 2016 Track and Field Team Championships at the Prince George's Sports and Learning Complex.


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 Coach Highlight: Kellie Skinner

 

The 2016 Interscholastic Unified Outdoor Bocce Championships were a big success again this year. The high caliber of teams and endless energy of the students made for a highly competitive day. Much of this success in a team getting to the finals starts with the coaches. We talked with Kellie Skinner, Head Coach and Special Education Teacher at Annapolis High School.


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Justin Hunsinger: An Assist from My Favorite Team

 

In January, University of Maryland Men's Basketball Coach Mark Turgeon, his staff, and the players invited 40 Special Olympics athletes to a basketball clinic. The Terps coaches and players really care about making a difference in society, and they support Special Olympics with lots of enthusiasm. I got to bond with the team and the coaches. Click below to read my full story, originally published in the Washington Post Magazine!

MYTH:  If I'm not an athlete or volunteer, I can't become involved in Special Olympics Maryland.

FACT:   You can become a Unified Partner! All across Maryland, Special Olympics athletes and their teammates without intellectual disabilities practice and play together on Unified Sports teams. Click here to learn more about our Unified Sports program!

 Summer Games Social Media

 

Click here to check out all of our social media information for Summer Games!

 2016 Law Enforcement
Torch Run

The 2016 Law Enforcement Torch Run is coming up! These events, hosted by Maryland Law Enforcement to raise money and awareness for Special Olympics Maryland, will take place on June 6 - 10. This is your chance to run side by side with your fellow law enforcement personnel and the Special Olympics torch! Click here to register or to find out more information about events in your community.

With your support athletes can focus on training and competing, and not on the cost to participate.    

Did you know that an athlete does not pay to participate in Special Olympics? Help transform the life of a Special Olympics athlete through the power of sports... it's only a click away!

 Athletes Served

7,311

5,291 TRAINING & COMPETITION

1,878 TRAINING

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.

Click here to see a copy of our current financials.


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We'd Love to Hear Back from You!
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410.242.1515 | news@somd.org | www.somd.org