Articles in Sponsors

SOIA Receives $20,000 Grant from Variety- the Children’s Charity

logo-varietySpecial Olympics Iowa (SOIA) has received a $20,000 grant from Variety- the Children’s Charity to fund Young Athletes Play Days and Unified Sports®.

Young Athletes 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).

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Dubuque Racing Assoc. Continues Statewide Partnership

logo-dra2Special Olympics Iowa (SOIA) is pleased to announce the Dubuque Racing Association (DRA) will continue as a Premier Statewide Partner in 2016. Statewide partners provide a comprehensive level of support of all programs and services offered by SOIA. A statewide partnership includes financial support, in-kind donations or any combination thereof.

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Des Moines Polar Plunge Moves to Jordan Creek Town Center Nov. 7

letr-polar-plunge-logoSpecial Olympics Iowa will bring the Des Moines area Polar Plunge to Jordan Creek Town Center on Sat., Nov. 7, 2015. The event is presented by Lincoln Savings Bank.

The Polar Plunge will take place in a pool, donated by Central Iowa Pool and Spa, set up in the south parking lot at Jordan Creek Mall. Festivities begin at noon with plungers, fans, families and athletes enjoying a wide variety of family-friendly activities — Scott Tudor Entertainment will be DJ-ing the event, the Aveda Insitute will have blowouts available after you plunge and Lincoln Savings Bank will have an interactive tent — just to name a few!

logo-lincoln-savings-bankEvent Details

Date: November 7, 2015
Location: Jordan Creek Town Center
Cost: $75 fundraising minimum
Additional Information: *For every $75 raised, your name will be entered into a raffle for the door prize drawing.

Register Online


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Volunteerism Grows Friendships and Creates Opportunities

Tyler (red shirt) with (from left) Chick, Ashlee Goodrich (Tyler’s manager) and Scott Barsness (who Tyler job shadowed).

Tyler (red shirt) with (from left) Chick, Ashlee Goodrich (Tyler’s manager) and Scott Barsness (who Tyler job shadowed).

By Shelly Perkins, CLG Communications, Wells Fargo
Making the decision to help out, lend a hand, become involved, stand up for a cause, become an advocate, has a far-reaching and positive influence on so many lives. For Chick Herbert, a Business Initiatives Senior Manager in our Retail Services business in Des Moines, choosing to volunteer and serve on the board for Special Olympics Iowa (SOIA) the past nine years has been an extremely meaningful and rewarding experience for a number of reasons – specifically, meeting and growing a friendship with Tyler Leech.

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State Softball Skills Competition Brings New Athletes, Voluneers

news-sammons-softball-skills-volunteerMore than 400 athletes competed during the Special Olympics Iowa State Softball Tournament Aug. 8 at the Prairie Ridge Sports Complex in Ankeny. Sammons Financial Group was the Presenting Sponsor for the event, providing more than 80 volunteers including employees, their families and friends.

Highlights of the day included a check presentation for $10,000 from Sammons Financial Group to continue its Champion Statewide Partnership and also serve as the Presenting Sponsor of the State Softball Tournament. A new partner of SOIA, Kona Ice, providing spectators and athletes with snow cones as a cool refreshment. They later presented SOIA with a check from the proceeds that day.

Though more teams were on the fields this year, the state softball skills competition was the main reason for the increase in athletes at the tournament.

“The new venue along with the fantastic volutneers from Sammons allowed us to put on an amazing event,” said SOIA CEO Gary Harms. “The determination, sportsmanship and pure enjoyment displayed throughout the day drives the athlete experience and joy, provides inspiration for our coaches and keeps our fans cheering.”

View Softball Photos on Our Facebook Page

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New SOIA Van is on the Roads

news-sprinter-vanMercedes-Benz of Des Moines has provided SOIA with a brand new 2015 Sprinter cargo van.  This valued partnership not only allows Special Olympics Iowa to upgrade our aging vehicle fleet but provides us with a mobile billboard to enhance Special Olympics awareness across the state of Iowa.

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SOIA Featured Monthly on ABC Local 5 Midday News

Channel 5 News

SOIA athlete Tyler Leech (center) talks about the Unified Relay Across America with CEO Gary Harms (right) and anchor Elias Johnson (left) on the ABC Local 5 News segment on June 10.

If you have seen some of our athletes on the news lately, it may have been part of a new partnership between Special Olympics Iowa and ABC Local 5 News in Des Moines.

Since February, SOIA has been featured in a series of live interviews during the midday news. The segments appear on the second Wednesday of every month at approximately 11:50 a.m.

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Sammons Partnership Brings Coach into the SOIA Softball Family

softball team

Rick King (center) became an SOIA softball coach when he learned of the opportunity through Sammons Financial Group.

The Special Olympics Iowa State Softball Tournament has been sponsored by Sammons Financial Group since 2010. The company not only donates money to keep the event going, but lines the softball fields with volunteers each summer.

One of those volunteers loved the event so much, he became a coach for one of the Link Associates team. Rick King is a process improvement consultant for Sammons and has coached softball and baseball for 15 years.

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Need to quench your thirst? Stop at Casey’s to get the SOIA Casey’s Cup this summer!

cupsSpecial Olympics Iowa athletes and law enforcement officials are being showcased on the 44-ounce cups at Casey’s General Stores throughout the state. The cups will be available in stores from Memorial Day through Labor Day with a portion of the proceeds from each Casey’s Cup sold going to SOIA.

Casey’s and Special Olympics Iowa are also challenging customers to take photos of themselves with the cups, and each week, a winner will be chosen to receive a free Casey’s pizza. A grand-prize winner will be chosen at the end of

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