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August NEWSLETTER
2021 Unified Sports Fall Festival Presented by Mohegan Sun Schedule Set
We're excited to announce our 2021 Unified Sports Fall Festival presented by Mohegan Sun in-person events planned for Saturday, September 11th, and Sunday, September 12th. They include:
  • Bocce Skills, Singles and Teams competition at Scalzi Park in Stamford
  • Croquet Unified Doubles tournament at Ocean House in Watch Hill, Rhode Island
  • Golf Skills, Alternate Shot, and Individual Stroke at Sleeping Giant Golf Course in Hamden
  • Sailing 2-person and 4-person competition at the Wadawanuck Club in Stonington
  • Softball Skills competition and Unified and Traditional Team games at the Connecticut SportsPlex in North Branford
We will also offer virtual activities that athletes and teams may participate in at home and in their communities. For more information, go to soct.org or email specialolympicsct@soct.org.

Champion's Society Members Celebrated
Kovlakas Receives President's Award

We welcomed fifty friends of Special Olympics CT to our 8th Annual Champion's Society event at the beautiful Farmington Polo Club on Saturday, July 10th. The event was held as a "thank you" to individuals who've made planned gifts to support and secure the future of our organization. 
 
A highlight of the event was Lisa Kovlakas receiving a President's Award from Beau Doherty for her longtime commitment to Special Olympics, extraordinary efforts to champion Unified Sports, and tireless work to establish and enhance our invaluable partnership with ESPN.
 
Special guests included athletes who participate in our Equestrian program made possible by Michael Bozzuto and friends with The Farmington Club and a few of the horses they are learning to care for and groom through their training!
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

Malan, Rubio Join the Special Olympics Connecticut Board of Directors

Special Olympics Athlete Kimberly Malan of Manchester and Colette Rubio, Senior Vice President, Enterprise Technology for WWE, headquartered in Stamford, have joined the Special Olympics Connecticut Board of Directors.
 
Kimberly Malan began participating in Special Olympics when she was thirteen years old and has been an athlete for more than 20 years. She competes in track & field, croquet, basketball, and snowshoeing with Special Olympics Glastonbury and was a member of Team Connecticut for the 2014 Special Olympics USA Games in New Jersey. She also serves as a Global Messenger and Medical volunteer. "Special Olympics has taught me to be a team player," Malan says. She is employed by MARC, Inc. of Manchester. 


Colette Rubio leads the Enterprise Technology organization of WWE, an integrated media organization and recognized leader in global entertainment. She delivers innovative solutions to drive strategic business outcomes. Rubio has over 25 years of experience in technology leadership and has held positions at HBO, Time Warner, Pepsico, BD, and Ernst and Young. She received her M.B.A. International Business from Pace University and B.B.A. Computer Systems from Baruch College, City University of New York.
Health:
Athletes, Unified partners, volunteers, family, and friends are invited to take the SONA (Special Olympics North America) Move Challenge this fall! Find out more and register now through September 5th here.
Special Events:
Baker Family to Receive Bozzuto Family Award at Annual Dinner, September 27th
By Rebecca Nordquist Hyde, Volunteer
 
Peggy Baker says she doesn’t sit much, and people with intellectual disabilities have benefitted from that characteristic for the past 25 years.
 
When her son Matt, now 30, was five years old, she and her family got involved with the Cheshire Challengers Baseball League, a program for special needs athletes. Their involvement was a family affair: Peggy and her husband, John, coached and two of their children Jack and Mary played alongside Matt. The family quickly caught the attention of Special Olympics in Cheshire and helped start—and coach—the chapter’s first soccer team. The Baker family has been a consistent supporter of Special Olympics ever since, and their dedication has earned them the Bozzuto Family Award and a spot in the Special Olympics Hall of Fame.
 
We caught up with Peggy and asked her about her family’s experience with Special Olympics.
 
Special Olympics Connecticut: What’s your “why” for your involvement with Special Olympics?
Peggy Baker: It's the greatest feeling you could ever have when you see the athletes’ smiles after hitting a ball or making a goal. Even if it's in the wrong goal. The joy it brings is something you just can't get anywhere.
 
SOCT: Is there anyone in particular who inspired your path?
PB: Our son Matt was our inspiration. He was the baby of four and all our children were involved with sports or some kind of activity—so Matt had to be too. It's just how the Bakers roll.  
 
In 2010, when Matt started Chapel Haven - a residential school and independent living facility in New Haven - we helped start a (Special Olympics) soccer team. Jack played soccer too; he’s an awesome brother. I helped with coaching from the sidelines, and we also volunteered for softball. We hardly ever missed any practices. Matt participated in bowling and basketball by himself.
 
SOCT: What is your most meaningful memory as a volunteer/coach?
PB: I can honestly say I don't have any special moment coaching.  It's just all so great.
 
SOCT: In addition to volunteering and coaching for Special Olympics, your family has supported the Dream Ride. What’s it like to ride in that?
PB: My husband and I have owned our Harley since 1981. We love to ride. I mean, how cool is it to ride with hundreds of other people in the Dream Ride and ride through traffic lights and stop signs! We would get a few neighbors and some friends and ride together. 
 
SOCT: Why is giving back so important to you?
PB: Giving back is for selfish reasons. It gives me such great joy.
 
SOCT: How do you encourage others to get involved?
PB: I am always telling people how great Special Olympics is. How rewarding it is to see the faces on the athletes when they compete. Practices may not be as fun as the games, but it's still awesome. We are such an active family that Special Olympics fits very well for us.
 
SOCT: What does it mean to you to earn the Bozzuto Family Award and be inducted into the Special Olympics Hall of Fame?
PB: Our family involvement with Special Olympics all these years has been because we want to.  We love being with our son Matt and all the other athletes. It's just something we love to do. We don't do it for any accolades; we do it because it brings so many people such joy.
 
It is quite an honor to say we will be inducted into the Special Olympics Hall of Fame.
 
Our Annual Awards Dinner will take place at the Aqua Turf Club on Monday, September 27th. To view all honorees, find out more and purchase tickets, click here.

Be brave in the attempt. Go Over the Edge for SOCT!

Participate in our 10th Anniversary Over The Edge event at Mohegan Sun by fundraising now and rappelling 32 stories down Sky Tower for the thrill of it and to support our athletes on Friday, September 3rd! Register, donate, and find out more here.
"After meeting Daniel at Over The Edge and having him tell me he was proud of me for participating, I vowed I will go over each and every year as long as I am capable. I am proud of Daniel every day and knowing he is proud of me pushes me day in and day out to raise as much as possible." - Jennifer Lajoie of Bearingstar Insurance, a participant in Over the Edge since 2015!
Dream Ride
The Dream Ride Experience is the signature fundraising event of The Hometown Foundation, Inc. happening August 20th - 22nd. The weekend will feature family fun for all and include a Dream Cruise with Special Olympics athletes participating as Dream Riders. To find out more, visit dreamride.org.
Register for the 14th Annual Susan Saint James Poker Tournament
The fundraiser returns to Foxwoods Resort Casino on Sunday, September 19th. Find out more and sign up here.
Special Olympics Unified Sports® in schools is made possible through Special Olympics Connecticut’s partnership with the Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference (CIAC). Sponsors include: 


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

Partner Sponsors

Bozzuto's Inc. The Hometown Foundation Enterprise Logo
ESPN logo Eversource Logo Frederick A. DeLuca Foundation Logo
Torch Run Logo NBC CT and Telemundo CT TD Bank logo
Ratheon Technologies Logo WWE Logo

Year-Round Suppliers

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