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MAY NEWSLETTER

Summer Games Coming Up June 4th & 5th and 11th & 12th

Summer Games Cycling
Get ready for our Summer Games Presented by Pratt & Whitney!
Fairfield University will host our soccer, swimming and tennis events, Saturday, June 4th and Sunday, June 5th and cycling will take place at 181 West Johnson Road in Cheshire on Saturday.
Track & field competition will take place at Southern Connecticut State University the following weekend, June 11th and 12th.  
Be sure to go to our Special Olympics Connecticut Facebook page to watch our Summer Games Opening Ceremony, including the Final Leg of the Law Enforcement Torch Run, on Friday, June 3rd at 6:30 p.m. here.
Fairfield University hosted "A Celebration of Special Olympics" on May 3rd to generate excitement around the Games and thank those whose generosity make it possible. Special Olympics Connecticut Board Members - past and present, sponsors, athletes, staff and friends gathered for the event. Highlights included special guest speaker Tim Shriver, Chairman of Special Olympics, paying tribute to his long-time friend, retiring SOCT President Beau Doherty, Paul Wilson, SVP NBC Universal Inc-Olympic Sales, receiving a President's Award by Beau for his outstanding support, and Chad and Andrea Faulkner of Jersey Mike’s corporate and Simsbury store and Susie Mitton Shannon, Operations Director for Jersey Mike's of Enfield, Manchester, Middletown and Rocky Hill being recognized for their extraordinary fundraising efforts benefitting our organization.
President's Award
These Summer Games Sponsors make our event possible:
Officers, Athletes to Team Up For this Year's Torch Run, June 1st - 3rd
Law Enforcement Torch Run
This year's Law Enforcement Torch Run will take place Wednesday, June 1st, Thursday, June 2nd and Friday, June 3rd. Officers and officials from law enforcement agencies will spread the message and mission of Special Olympics and carry the "Flame of Hope" through their communities then pass the torch to their brothers and sisters in blue in neighboring towns and cities. In some communities, officers will be joined by Special Olympics athletes, running alongside them. Together, they'll cumulatively cover more than 530 miles during the three-day Run and Torch Run Rallies are set to take place at Foxwoods Resort Casino on Wednesday and Blue Back Square in West Hartford on Thursday, both happening around 5 p.m. The Rallies will feature special guests and celebrate Special Olympics athletes as well as the power of inclusion! All are encouraged to cheer on the officers when the Torch Run passes by. To see when the Torch Run will be passing through your town, click here.
Many departments are also hosting Tip-A-Cop fundraisers and coin drops leading up to the Torch Run. For a list of upcoming events, click here.
Torch Run sponsors include The Hometown Foundation, Whelen Engineering, WWE, and The Bearingstar Insurance Charitable Fund - Platinum Sponsors and Adams Hometown Markets/IGA Hometown Supermarkets and Papa's Dodge - Gold Sponsors. 
Team Connecticut Heading to the Special Olympics USA Games, June 4th
Team Photo Team CT
Team Connecticut will get a big send-off from Avelo Airlines at Tweed New Haven Airport on June 4th, when members will board a flight to Orlando, Florida bound for the Special Olympics USA Games, June 5th - 12th. Team Connecticut is led by Cara Manfronte, Head of Delegation and Carol Cutler, Assistant Head of Delegation, Ria Violano, Families Coordinator and Kori Kelly, Medical Volunteer, with support from staff member Marc Mercadante. Additional members of Team Connecticut include athletes and Unified partners who'll compete in traditional and Unified track & field, Unified basketball, gymnastics and swimming and participate in Athlete Leadership activities and their coaches. For a list of all Team members, click here. Be sure to follow Special Olympics Connecticut on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn for updates on the Team throughout the Games.

A huge and heartfelt thank you goes out to the incredible owners and staff of Jersey Mike's Subs statewide who raised over $361,000 in Connecticut to help send Team Connecticut to the USA Games and support our local programs.
Jersey Mike's
USA Games Torch Run Final Leg Passing Through Connecticut
Friends from ESPN, WWE Will Welcome Runners

Jersey Mike's
The Law Enforcement Torch Run Final Leg for the Special Olympics USA Games will pass through Connecticut on Monday, May 23rd. Runners will carry the Special Olympics Torch from Connecticut to Florida - the site of the USA Games and include officer representatives from each state and several Special Olympics athletes. Nicole Theriault, an officer with Connecticut's State Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services (DMHAS) will serve as the Connecticut representative. The Run will kick off on the ESPN campus and its first stop will be at Lake Compounce, where a short program will be hosted by ESPN's Kevin Negandhi. Runners will arrive at WWE in Stamford later in the afternoon for a rally and celebration before continuing on to New York, and ultimately Exploria Stadium in Orlando. The Flame of Hope will ignite a custom-made, never-before-seen cauldron during the USA Games Opening Ceremony which will then reside at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex for the duration of the event.
Unified Teammates, Coaches, Essayists Honored at Annual Awards Banquet
More than 700 teammates, coaches and athletic directors from high schools and junior high schools statewide attended the Annual Unified Sports Awards Banquet presented by the Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference (CIAC) in partnership with Special Olympics Connecticut at the Aqua Turf.
Outstanding student athletes from each school were recognized and the Michael's Cup was awarded to two exceptional Unified schools - Oxford High School and Haddam Killingworth Middle School. 
Winners of this year's Unified Sports essay contest also shared the essays they wrote about their Unified experiences. The essayists include Shari Silva - Baldwin Middle School, Guilford, Jessica Mancarella - Haddam Killingworth Middle School, Emily Clark - Pomperaug High School and Anthony O'Connell - Wolcott High School.
Karen Packtor, the first Unified Sports Director, was also honored and Robb Bajoros of Coginchaug High School and Rich Peronace of Swift Middle School received the George Synnott Coach of the Year Award. Bob McKee of Maloney Middle School was named Athletic Director of the Year and Drew Marine / Drew International was recognized as an outstanding sponsor.
Guest speaker Andrea Cahn, VP of Unified Champion Schools for Special Olympics, talked about the positive impact of Special Olympics Connecticut's 30-year partnership with the CIAC. She also honored retiring SOCT President Beau Doherty, who first introduced the concept of Unified Sports to Special Olympics Founder Eunice Kennedy Shriver and began a program that would inspire inclusion across Connecticut and worldwide.
Winter Activities Wrap-Up
Gymnastics
Our Winter Games gymnastics competition, hosted by Farmington Valley Gymnastics and More LLC, took place on May 1st. 
Our Fairfield Penguin Plunge, supported by officers of the Fairfield Police Department and Fairfield University's Department of Public Safety, took place at Jennings Beach and the Plunge at the Park, presented by Sgt. Pete Howard and Monroe first responders, took place at Monroe's Great Hollow Lake on April 2nd.
Honor Beau, Give to the The Beau Fund
After dedicating 40 years to empowering individuals with intellectual disabilities and creating opportunity, equity and inclusion for this population, SOCT President Beau Doherty will retire on August 29, 2022.
To celebrate and thank Beau for his remarkable accomplishments, we invite you to add to his legacy through the Beau Fund here. We're also organizing a retirement party for Beau that will take place on July 31st - details coming soon!
Join Matt, Abby and Robin in Going Over the Edge for Special Olympics!
Athletes Matt, Abby and Robin are brave in their competitions as athletes - and will also bravely go Over the Edge at Mohegan Sun for Special Olympics on Friday, September 3rd. They invite you to join them! 
During Over the Edge, participants rappel more than 30 floors down Mohegan Sun's Sky Tower for the thrill of it, to see breathtaking sights from atop one of the state's most popular attractions and to raise funds for our organization. Those who prefer to keep two feet on the ground can donate to support the event. For details, to register and to make a donation, click here
No experience is necessary and there's still plenty of time to reach your fundraising goal, so sign up today!
May's SOCT Zoom Room Activities for Athletes
Bingo - Monday, May 16th at 7 p.m. Register in advance here.
"All About Sea Turtles" with the Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk - Wednesday, May 25th at 7 p.m. Register here.
Trivia Night - Monday, June 6th at 7 p.m. Register here.
2021 Annual Report
We are grateful to all who support our mission and help us provide opportunities for our athletes to belong to a team, improve their health and demonstrate their abilities on and beyond the playing field. To see an overview of our programs and events and recognition of our supporters, scroll through our 2021 Annual Report here.
Become a Member of Our Champion's Society
It's Easy to Plan for the Future with These Free Resources
If you're like many people, creating or updating your will or trust and other important documents often falls to the bottom of your 'to do' list. We have made it easy for you to get started today with free publications to help you get organized and complete your plans while gaining peace of mind: https://solegacygiving.org/resources


We welcome your feedback and contributions. Contact us at 203-230-1201 or specialolympicsct@soct.org.

Partner Sponsors

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Year-Round Suppliers

Adams Hometown Markets/IGA Hometown Supermarkets
Coca Cola Beverages Northeast
Marcus Communications
N&D Sports
State of Connecticut Judicial Branch Community Service
WORX