November 2015

Greetings Supporter,

Rosemary Kennedy was born in 1918 with an intellectual disability that stemmed from some unfortunate circumstances during labor. In 1941 after consulting with doctors about concerns regarding his daughter, Rosemary’s father Joseph had her undergo a prefontal lobotomy. Unfortunately, Rosemary never functioned or interacted at the same level after the procedure. She lived in an institution for the rest of her life.

When I speak to people about how Special Olympics got started, I refer to the first Games which were held in 1968 in Soldier Field in Chicago and then I quickly take it back to 1962 when our founder Eunice Kennedy Shriver hosted backyard camps in Rockville for people with intellectual disabilities. The truth is that the fateful day in 1941 is why we have Special Olympics as we know it today. Rosemary and Eunice Kennedy Shriver were sisters. Mrs. Shriver made it her mission to use sport to make life better for the Rosemary’s of the world.

We have come a long way since 1941, 1962 and 1968. The three unique profiles of athletes in this issue provide evidence of that progress. And yet today somewhere in Maryland a student with an intellectual disability will be bullied, made fun of or called a retard...a parent will be told their child can’t... and an adult with an intellectual disability who wants to work, will not be considered for a job, all because of their intellectual disability.

Special Olympics contributes to helping address these challenges. Through sport, we are striving to create a world where opportunity is not limited by disability. Special Olympics invites every individual with an intellectual disability to be part of an interactive inclusive environment where there are no preconceived limits on what they can do.

This is not just about sport. Yes we want athletes to run faster, jump higher, make game winning shots, that’s all good. We also want our athletes to be healthy. So we have healthy athletes programs that raise awareness about the sub-standard healthcare that our athletes experience while working to help them be healthier. We conduct Athlete Leadership training and education programs that enhance the confidence of our athletes to be the face and voice of this Program. And we do it all at no cost to our athletes.

As we celebrate Giving Tuesday on December 1 and enter the holiday season of giving, recognize our athletes as gifts that make our communities better.

Always Brave in the Attempt,                      

James C. Schmutz
President and CEO

This selfie photo was taken on stage at the 2015 Summer Games Opening Ceremonies  

Tammy Holibaugh

Hometown:  Taneytown, MD

Joined Special Olympics: 1996

Sports:  Soccer, Basketball, Flag Football & Bowling

Excited about: competing at the State Soccer Tournament on November 1st.

Wants you to know: she wants to continue to be an ambassador for Special Olympics Maryland and help the program grow. 

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

Upcoming Events


Special Events:

3 Messages of Hope to Inspire You During This Holiday Season

Alicia Gogue pictured here with Governor Hogan at a reception for the World Games athletes 

Alicia is just one of 4 athletes who are featured in 3 different promotional ads for Giving Tuesday on WBAL-TV.  They have also recorded radio ads that will appear on 98 Rock.  

Each athlete has a different story of how their life has been changed in a positive way through Special Olympics Maryland.  Take a few minutes to see their stories for yourself. 

Click here to view Alicia's message about cycling

Click here to view a message about Unified Sports from Julia and Carmen

Click here to view a message from Nick and Captain Danielle Bradshaw-Lee about the partnership with law enforcement and what the Flame of Hope means them



The Pink Ladies Take Home The Silver


Coach Isner summed up her feelings on being part of this team and guiding them when she said she “loves being with all the girls. They put their all into it. Win or lose they are a team.” 

If I told you about a group of women from Anne Arundel County called The Pink Ladies what would the first image in your head be? I must confess that when I heard of the Pink Ladies I immediately thought of the original movie “Grease” with John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John. I pictured women with names like Rizzo and Frenchy dressed in pink poodle skirts with monogramed matching shirt and black patent shoes. So I decided to send our rookie athlete reporter Michael Heup out to see what this group of Pink Ladies was all about.

Michael reported back noting some similarities and some differences between these two Pink Ladies.  Click here to read the rest of the story...

3 Athletes take Syd's Challenge Seriously

Bob Strunge on the left, pictured here with his father Jim at the Golf Tournament at Compass Point in September.

Syd Lea is an athlete from Carroll County that wanted to give something back to Special Olympics Maryland.  He came up with the idea to donate one hour of his pay every month to Special Olympics Maryland in Carroll County.  For Syd, that’s $11.41. 

Syd’s friend Christine, who is an athlete in Howard County, heard about what Syd is doing and has decided she will make a monthly donation to Special Olympics Maryland in Howard County. If Syd can do it, she can too!

In September Nick Meade from Anne Arundel County decided he would take up this challenge and support the local program where he participates.  

And just a few weeks ago, Bob Strunge who is pictured above with his father at a recent golf tournament, is also giving back a monthly donation to his local area program in Howard County.

These are just 4 examples of athletes who are making a difference by giving something back and they are doing it every month. They join 30 other individuals who are making a similar monthly commitment.  

It costs an average of $203 for an athlete to train and compete in one sport for one sport season.  Thanks to the support we receive from donors, this cost is never passed down to the athlete.  

Please consider a monthly contribution on Giving Tuesday this year. Our goal is to get 100 people to sign up to be a monthly donor by the end of this year.   Click here to get started, and give the gift that keeps giving back. 

Joe Flacco supports Special Olympics Maryland on #GivingTuesday...and so can you!

Joe Flacco shares his "unselfie" on Giving Tuesday in recognition of his support of the athletes at Special Olympics Maryland.  Don't forget to share yours at #GivingTuesday and #MDGivesMore  

Give. Volunteer.  Share


Support Special Olympics Maryland on Tuesday, December 1st, when charities, families, businesses, communities and students around the world will come together for one common purpose: to celebrate generosity and to give.

Give. Volunteer.  And make sure you share your generosity with others.  Keep Special Olympics Maryland on your holiday gift list this year. Click here for more information

Make a $75 Donation to the Polar Bear Plunge On Giving Tuesday and receive a free parking pass for onsite parking the day of the event!


Don't be left out in the here to be inspired!


Bravelets will be donating $20 (instead of $10) for every bracelet sold on December 1st to the associated cause (choose Special Olympics Maryland!)  This makes a great holiday gift for someone on your list.  

Do you donate through an 
Employee Giving Campaign?

Employee Giving Campaigns are in full swing. Here's a list of designation codes if you would like your donation to benefit Special Olympics Maryland:

United Way of the National Capital Area: 8888
Combined Federal Campaign (CFC): 1992
Combined Charity Campaign: 4264
Maryland Charity Campaign: 4525

United Way of Central Maryland: There is no code for this campaign. You need to "write in" Special Olympics Maryland to designate your donation.

Questions? Contact Sue Jacobs at




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