Articles in Sponsors

UnitedHealthcare Celebrates Another Year as Premier Statewide Partner

IMG_1754Special Olympics Iowa is happy to announce that UnitedHealthcare will be a SOIA Premier Statewide Partner and a sponsor of Challenge Days and the Healthy Athletes program in 2018.

UnitedHealthcare fits right in with the SOIA mission, as the company works every day “to help people live healthier lives.” The company has a strong history with SOIA, serving as a Gold Level Sponsor in past years before becoming a Statewide Partner in 2017.

UnitedHealthcare volunteers will continue to help with SOIA Healthy Athletes events throughout the year by providing athletes with screenings like Healthy Hearing and teaching athletes about nutrition, safety, and fitness through Health Promotions.

Read More

UNI & LSB Partner for UNI Men’s Basketball Games

Special Olympics Iowa Statewide Partner Lincoln Savings Bank, along with Learfield Sports and the University of Northern Iowa, have partnered together this winter to present an Athlete of the Game at each of UNI’s home Men’s Basketball games.


Athletes will be selected prior to the games and will be given the opportunity to be announced during the second half of the games. Athletes will also receive four complimentary tickets to the game and a shirt.

Lincoln Savings Bank was looking for a way to help showcase SOIA athletes. “Lincoln Savings Bank is a proud supporter of Special Olympics as well as Panther Sports Properties,” says Lincoln Savings Bank Regional Marketing Coordinator Ashley Ungs. “The opportunity came to fruition for recognition at men’s home basketball games. LSB preferred to highlight the men and women of Special Olympics and their accomplishments versus our own employees.”

As a Statewide Partner, Lincoln Savings Bank works with SOIA athletes year-round and volunteer for events like the West Des Moines and Cedar Falls/Waterloo Polar Plunges. They also volunteer at SOIA’s Summer Games every May. “Our corporate sponsorship with Special Olympics is near and dear to the hearts of LSB employees,” says Ungs. “As a community bank, it is our passion to give back to our communities.”

Read More

Special Olympics Iowa receives $25,000 grant from Variety- the Children’s Charity

Special Olympics Iowa (SOIA) has received a $25,000 grant from Variety- the Children’s Charity to fund its Young Athlete Play Days and Unified Champion Schools special programs.logo-variety-268x94

Young Athlete Play Days are designed to provide play activities and socialization opportunities for children with intellectual disabilities between the ages of two and seven. Play Days were created to serve children too young to participate in formal Special Olympics events (athletes can begin competing at age eight).

The Unified Champion Schools program partners SOIA with pre-schools, elementary schools, middle schools, high schools and colleges to implement three main components of inclusion: Unified Sports, youth leadership & advocacy and whole-school engagement.

SOIA is a nonprofit organization serving children and adults with intellectual disabilities by providing them with sport programs. Since 1968, Special Olympics Iowa has been a statewide movement that unleashes the human spirit through the transformative power and joy of sports. Using sports as the catalyst, and including programming on health and education, Special Olympics is fighting inactivity, injustice and intolerance. As a result, people with intellectual disabilities become accepted and valued members of their communities, which leads to a more respectful and inclusive society for all.

The Variety grant will be used to help continue SOIA special programs and to improve their already existing activities to ensure full physical exercise and overall healthy lifestyle for the over 14,000 athletes in the state of Iowa.

Read More

Casey’s General Stores and Coca-Cola raise $98,000 in support of Special Olympics Iowa


Casey’s General Stores throughout Iowa helped raise funds for Special Olympics Iowa this June with the Casey’s Promotion. Stores, in partnership with Coca-Cola, sold $1 pin-ups with proceeds being donated to Special Olympics as well as a percentage of sales from 44 oz. fountain drinks featuring Special Olympics athletes being donated to the nonprofit.

Over 14,000 athletes in Iowa will benefit from this fundraiser, which raised over $98,000. “Casey’s has continuously shown their generous support of our athletes and Unified Partners as they’ve helped us raise not just funds, but awareness for our organization,” says Special Olympics Iowa President and CEO Rich Fellingham. “We are proud to call Casey’s General Stores one of our Champion Statewide Partners.”

The company’s values are rooted in a sense of belonging to the communities in which it operates, which aligns with Special Olympics’ vision of inclusion for all athletes. Together throughout Iowa, the Casey’s Promotion raises awareness about different abilities and helps foster growth for our programs.

Special Olympics Iowa would like to give their sincerest appreciation for Casey’s and Coca-Cola for their generous donation and support.

Read More

Ankeny Play Day and Its Impact

By Chelsey Kimmel-Kendrick 

More than 425 young children came together to participate in several sports for the Ankeny Play Day on Thursday, April 20 at Ankeny Centennial High School. This is one of many events that is sponsored by one of Special Olympics Iowa’s Premier Statewide Partners, Sammons Financial Group.

Play Days are events where children between the ages of two and seven with intellectual disabilities can play activities and have socialization opportunities. Since athletes cannot participate in Special Olympics events until they’re eight years old, these days were created for those to participate in a more formal setting.IMG_2855

Mary Buscher, human resources consultant for Sammons, says nearly 80 employees from the organization signed up to volunteer for the event. She said Play Days are an event where people do it once and then get hooked.

Read More

Farm Bureau Becomes SOIA Statewide Partner

iowa_farm_bureau_vert_color_highres-220x94We are happy to announce that the Iowa Farm Bureau has become a Premier Statewide Partner with Special Olympics Iowa (SOIA)!

Farm Bureau has always supported SOIA — not only through generous gifts, but also through committed volunteer efforts from employees volunteering at SOIA events. For many years, team members from Farm Bureau have created relationships with athletes and managed events during Summer Games, participated in Unified volleyball, and joined us in many other volunteer opportunities.

Read More

MACC Foundation’s Annual 5K Fun Run to Benefit SOIA

Martial Artists for Children and Community will host their annual 5k Fun Run on Saturday, May 13 in Grimes. Proceeds from the event will be donated to Special Olympics Iowa.running1

MACC is a 501c3 non-profit organization closely affiliated with Martial Arts America Tae Kwon Do school in Ankeny, Iowa. This organization is designed to provide assistance to the children and community through charity and donation of resources, people and time.

The run will start at the Grimes Community Complex, where parking and vendors will be located. The race will begin at 8 a.m. Registration is open online NOW for $35. If you register and pay online by April 29 you’ll receive a free event T-shirt. Registration will begin at 7:30 a.m. the day of the event for those who have not pre-registered online.

Questions? Contact MACC Vice President Alex Bishop at



Read More

FREE Iowa State Football Game on April 8

On Saturday, April 8 Iowa State University will hold its annual free spring football game. SOIA athletes and family and friends are invited to attend the game and be a part of a Special Olympics section! The athlete section is being sponsored by Learfield Sports and SOIA Statewide Sponsor UnitedHealthcare.


SOIA will be seated in section 25. There will be signage to find the Special Olympics section in the stands. Guests are encouraged to park on the south side of the stadium (S2/S3) and can take the general public elevator up to the East Concourse.


No tickets are needed for this event. There will be wheelchair accessible seating.


What: Iowa State Spring Football Game
Who: SOIA Athletes, Families & Friends
When: Saturday, April 8, 2017
Time: Gates open at noon, game begins at 1 p.m.
Where: Jack Trice Stadium, ISU Campus


Details below. Call the state office at 515-986-5520 with questions or email Stephanie Kocer at


Read More

SOIA Welcomes UnitedHealthcare as a Premier Statewide Partner

Special Olympics Iowa is happy to announce that in 2017, UnitedHealthcare became a SOIA Premier Statewide Partner and a sponsor of Challenge Days and the Healthy Athletes program, positively impacting thousands of Iowans with intellectual disabilities.bball31-300x230

UnitedHealthcare fits right in with the SOIA mission, as the company works every day “to help people live healthier lives.” The company has a strong history with SOIA, serving as a Gold Level Sponsor in past years before coming on as a Statewide Partner. And in 2016-2017, in collaboration with Iowa State University and SOIA, they started the “Athlete of the Game” presentation at ten men’s basketball games at ISU, where a Special Olympics’ athlete is recognized on the floor at Hilton Coliseum and presented with an autographed basketball. Prior to that, UnitedHealthcare donated $25,000 to support SOIA programs and activities across the state.

On Saturday, April 8, as a part of their sponsorship at ISU games, UnitedHealthcare will honor all Special Olympics athletes at the ISU Spring Game. The game starts at 1 p.m. and the event is free. They encourage everyone to come!

Read More

Lincoln Savings Bank Presents 2nd Annual West Des Moines Polar Plunge

Ever been curious about this famous Special Olympics fundraiser? The Polar Plunge® is a signature fundraiser for Special Olympics that offers a unique opportunity for individuals and organizations to raise money and support Special Olympics Iowa athletes by jumping into frigid waters. Polar Plunges are held across the state of Iowa in the fall and spring. The West Des Moines Polar Plunge will be held Saturday, November 5 at the Jordan Creek Town Center.2016-lsb-recolored-unsecure

Premier Statewide Partner Lincoln Savings Bank is presenting the event for the second year in a row. Volunteers from LSB will be on hand all day to help the Plunge run smoothly and to provide guests with giveaways and fun activities.

Immediately following the Plunge, participants and guests can stay warm and enjoy fun, food, drink, music, a silent auction and drawings at the post-party. Lunch can be purchased for spectators at registration for $10 (ages 5 and under free).

Read More