January News from Special Olympics Oklahoma

Dana Wilkes
FW: January News from Special Olympics Oklahoma
Thank you for your
We're not Teezin'...We're Freezin'
for Special Olympics Oklahoma
2015 Polar Plunge Registration Now Open
January 31
February 7
McAlester, Durant and Stillwater
February 14
Norman, Poteau
February 18
February 21
Enid, Lawton, Tahlequah
June 25 - August 2
February 27
Super Plunge
February 28
Oklahoma City, Tulsa
March 7
Pauls Valley
You'll be Freezin' for a Reason when you jump or run into a
freezing cold body of water to raise funds for more then 10,500
Special Olympics Oklahoma athletes across the state.
Gather your friends, family and co-workers and sign up today
to join us at one of the 15 Polar Plunges.
19th Annual Winter Games
January 8-10, 2015
Very cold, but clear weather
Fantastic competitions
Wonderful venues
Happy athletes, coaches & families
Outstanding venue directors & quality volunteers
Super fun dance
Good food / good fun / good friends
That pretty well sums up the 2015 Special Olympics Oklahoma
Winter Games! All the successes are due to the dedication and
commitment from everyone involved.
In 1996, when we hosted our very first Winter Games. We started
the Games with just 1,200 athletes. It was a new concept, and we
Heartland Winter Games
January 2015
12 Special Olympics
Oklahoma athletes were
invitied to compete at the
John Cassidy Heartland
Winter Games in Weston,
Missouri. The athletes had a
wonderful experience and
brought home multiple
medals and ribbons.
Congratulations Becky
Gross, Heather Sossamon,
Cynthia Newton, Erin Henke,
Amy Wollmershauser, Cody
Shelton, Chris Paynter, Al
Talley, Nathan Putman, Greg
Ashworth, Steve Lynn and
Steve Harvey.
Thank you to our wonderful
coaches for making
Heartland Games a success.
wondered how it would be accepted. Nineteen years after that initial
Winter Games, 2,292 athletes and partners competed in 2015. We
are happy that the Winter Games are a smashing success and a
popular destination for more and more athletes each year!
Photos from the 2015
Special Olympics
Oklahoma Winter Games.
A special thank you to the volunteers and staff at Oklahoma City
Community College, The University of Oklahoma Huston Huffman
Center, AMF Boulevard Bowl, Holiday Lanes, Penn 44, AMF
Windsor, Fire Lake, Planet Bowl and Heritage Lanes. We also wish
to thank Journey Church, Norman for welcoming more than 1,000
attendees to the Victory Celebration and Dance.
Kacie Pettijohn
receives the
Stacie Shipman
Youth Volunteer
Award at the
Winter Games
Kacie attends
the University of
Oklahoma and
has volunteered
Donna Shipman, Garrett and Kacie Pettijohn
with Special
and Larry Shipman
Oklahoma for 7
years. She is a Unified Partner and Assistant Coach for the Heart of
Oklahoma Team. Kacie has supported her brother Garrett as he
has competed in Bowling and Athletic events each year. "Kacie
exemplifies all of the qualities that honor the memory of Stacie, our
daughter," said Larry Shipman.
Aquatics competition
competition at OU
Huston Huffman
Bowling at
numerous bowling
Volleyall competition
at OU Huston
Hardesty Family
The Hardesty Family
Foundation was established in
2005 by Roger and Donna
Hardesty. Roger and Donna
sacrificed to get where they
are today so it is with that
pioneering spirit that they
created the Hardesty Family
Foundation. They believe
strongly in the American
dream of hard work and
tenacity and like to support
projects that share their belief
system, “if you can dream, you
can achieve.”
Olympic Town at OU
Huston Huffman
The Hardesty Family
Foundation has supported Special Olympics Oklahoma since
2007. Their most recent gift was in honor of Ismael Renteria, a Special
Olympics athlete very close to their family. They believe that his
experience in Special Olympics has allowed him to excel in school and
find his way to employment opportunities.
Ismael is a 17-year-old senior at
Union High School, in Tulsa. He
enjoys playing soccer and going to
school. Bocce is his favorite sport
at Summer Games. Special
Olympics gave him an opportunity to
compete in many different activities
that have given him the confidence
and pride that he needed. Seeing
the huge smile on his face as he
was awarded his medals after
competing in Summer Games is a
memory his mom will never
forget! He is very proud of the
medals he’s earned and loves to
show them off to family and
friends. This is amazing because,
due to his Autism, he typically
doesn’t express much emotion. The
Special Olympics experience has
not only given him opportunities to meet new friends but has also
allowed his family to connect with so many families in similar situations.
After graduation, Ismael will continue to work for A New Leaf, a workstudy program he started as a senior at Union. Special Olympics has
helped him grow as a person so he is better equipped to succeed in the
working world. Ismael plans to continue participating in Special
Olympics with Team Tulsa after his graduation.
Thank you Hardesty Family Foundation for your continued
support. You can learn more about the Hardesty Family Foundation
at http://www.hardestyfamilyfoundation.org/about.html.
Young Athletes Stars
of the Future at OU
Huston Huffman
January 31, 2015
Bartlesville Polar Plunge
February 7, 2015
Durant, McAlester and
Stillwater Polar Plunges
February 14, 2015
Norman and Poteau
Polar Plunges
February 18, 2015
NSU Polar Plunge
February 21, 2015
Lawton, Tahlequah Polar
February 28, 2015
Barons Special Olympics
Oklahoma Night and
Jersey Auction night
OKC and Tulsa Polar
The 2014 Annual Report is now available to view online.
March 7, 2015
Pauls Valley (Fun
Country) Polar Plunge
March 14, 2015
St. Patrick's 5K Run in
O'Connell's St. Patrick's
8K Run in Norman
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