A Message from Mike Mason, Our New President and CEO
Mike Mason with 3 SOCT Athletes
It is a tremendous honor to serve as the new President and CEO of Special Olympics Connecticut and continue to work with the best of the best there is - from athletes to volunteers to supporters and community partners. I'm excited and energized to collaborate with you to create more recognition, equity, and life-changing experiences for not only our amazing athletes, but also every individual involved in Special Olympics. Together, I know we can inspire more people to join our inclusion revolution to unite people through sports and fitness across our wonderful state and throughout the world. For almost 50 years, Special Olympics has been an integral part of my life and its athletes and volunteers, an extension of my family. Every day I'm in awe of what our coaches, volunteers and donors give to help our athletes succeed and realize their goals and of what they accomplish when simply given the opportunity to shine.
I humbly look forward to continuing and building upon the foundation Beau created and expanding programs that enrich our athletes' lives with friendship and activities, and the healthcare and resources they need to realize the best version of themselves!  I hope to see you soon and am grateful for all of the encouragement and kind words you've offered. Together, we are a strong and unified team!
Kindest regards,
Mike Mason
Unified Sports® Fall Festival Presented by Mohegan Sun Features Inclusion, Teamwork
Baseball Sailing
Golf Bocce
Our annual Unified Sports® Fall Festival Presented by Mohegan Sun is giving close to 1,000 athletes and Unified partners the opportunity to team up with their peers to compete in bocce, croquet, golf, sailing and softball during two consecutive weekends this month. Bocce competition at Scalzi Park in Stamford, golf at Sleeping Giant Golf Course, sailing at the Wadawanuck Club in Stonington and softball at East Shore Park in New Haven and Kennedy Field in East Haven all took place September 10th and 11th, and croquet will be held at Ocean House in Watch Hill, Rhode Island, September 17th and 18th. We applaud the athletes who put in the hours to train and prepare for these games and the coaches, volunteers and sponsors who support them.
Unified Sports Fall Festival Sponsors
Fearless Fundraisers Go Over the Edge for Special Olympics
at Mohegan Sun

More than 75 participants accepted the challenge to raise $1,000 for Special Olympics and bravely go Over the Edge of Sky Tower at Mohegan Sun on Thursday, September 1st and Friday, September 2nd. Although many of the participants had completed this feat over the eleven years we've held this event, there were many first-time participants as well who rappelled more than 30 floors down the side of the building. They included Athlete and Global Messenger Abby Snyder - who affirmed she'll do it again next year - and NBC Connecticut Sports Anchor Matt Finkel. At the end of the day, when everyone was back on ground level, $85,000 was raised to support our athletes!
Board Chair Ken Bowes Receives President's Award
Special Olympics Connecticut Board Chair Ken Bowes was presented with a President's Award by Beau Doherty for his outstanding leadership during a reception hosted by Board Member Nick Seminara and his wife Lisa on August 27th. Ken is Vice President Offshore Wind for Eversource Energy, a Special Olympics year-round Partner Sponsor.
Special Olympics, From Near and Far, Team Up for Unified Activities at Dream Ride
Not only did this year's Dream Ride event raise $3.5 million for the Hometown Foundation - which supports Special Olympics in a really big way, it also provided opportunities for athletes from Connecticut to participate in Unified activities with their peers from other states, England, Ireland and Australia! Activities included Unified basketball, swimming, corn hole, bocce, fishing and Zumba led by ESPN's Lisa Kovlakas! Thank you to Michael Bozzuto and all the Dream Ride organizers who truly make dreams come true!
Grant from Delta Dental Will Support Special Smiles
Special Olympics Connecticut received a $10,000 S.M.I.L.E. grant through the Delta Dental of New Jersey and Connecticut Foundation to support our Healthy Athletes’ Special Smiles program.
The grant is supporting the organization’s 2022/2023 Special Smiles program, a dental screening, education, and referral program with a mission to increase access to dental care for Special Olympics athletes. Dental screenings increase awareness of oral health, not only for the athletes, but also their parents and caregivers. Athletes also receive hygiene education to improve their brushing and flossing effectiveness and nutrition education to understand how their diet affects their total health.
Special Smiles screenings were offered to athletes who participated in our 2022 Summer Games at Fairfield University and will be provided at our 2022 Holiday Sports Classic at Quinnipiac University in November.
Sharon's Story
By Angie D'Amico, SOCT Health and Wellness Assistant, Global Messenger, Health Leader 
Special Olympics Tri-Town athlete, Sharon Rivera, was at a softball practice. When she was pitching the ball, one of her teammates hit the ball and the ball hit her mouth. After this happened, Sharon lost two of her top front teeth.
Sharon reached out to the former Senior Director of Health & Wellness, about getting help from Special Olympics Connecticut (SOCT). Sharon then worked with the Connecticut Department of Developmental Services' (DDS) Dental Coordinator to access the necessary follow-up care at UConn Health. SOCT has a partnership with UConn Dental Clinic and DDS through SOCT’s Healthy Athletes program.
Special Smiles is a discipline within the Healthy Athletes program that focuses on oral health for athletes. Special Smiles aims to increase access to dental care for athletes, as well as dentists’ knowledge on treating athletes. Special Smiles also helps to connect athletes with dentists who can care for them.
Sharon had a team of people who worked with her to get her teeth fixed. This included the DDS Dental Coordinator, the Dean of UConn Dental School, her case manager and point care person.
Sharon had to go to more than 10 visits to get her teeth replaced. They had to pull her old teeth out and let it heal, and then take measurements to make sure that her new acrylic teeth fit her mouth. 
Sharon feels great now that she has a full set of teeth on the top of her mouth. She is thankful for UConn for fixing her teeth.
MedFest Will Offer Free Physicals for Athletes
MedFest is an event that offers the standardized physical screening that all athletes need prior to participating in Special Olympics sports, and every three years thereafter. It will take place at the University of Saint Joseph, 1678 Asylum Avenue in Hartford on Saturday, October 15th from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Individuals who are both prospective and current athletes may attend at no cost. Appointments are required and may be made by emailing Susan Mohr at susanm@socg.org.
Connecticut Sun Halftime Games Spotlight Unified Teams
The Unified teams from Simsbury and Rockville High Schools played a halftime game during the Connecticut Sun's game vs. the Phoenix Mercury on August 2nd. The Sun also hosted our Track & Field athletes from Shelton High School and our ESports Team from Norwich Free Academy and recognized them during a break between quarters along with the Simsbury basketball team.
Golfers Sought For LETR Golf Tournament at Hawk's Landing Country Club, October 17th
The third annual LETR (Law Enforcement Torch Run) Golf Tournament to benefit Special Olympics Connecticut will take place at Hawk's Landing Country Club, 201 Pattonwood Drive in Southington, on Monday, October 17th. The cost to play in the tournament is $150 per person and $600 per foursome. Registration includes an 18-hole scramble, breakfast, golf cart, lunch, beverages, snacks and raffles. Sponsorship opportunities, ranging from $100 to $2,500, are also available. To register, click here. For more information, email jeffreyv@soct.org.
Join Our Champion's Society
Members of our Champion's Society choose to support Special Olympics Connecticut through planned giving to ensure future athletes have opportunities to be part of our team.
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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