Articles from August 2016

Staff Column: Tailgate for Teammates Takes Different Spin on Fall Gala

The Tailgate for Teammates, happening September 17, is an annual event that takes a different spin on a fall staff-stuartgala. Rather than the dress up black tie event, it is a much more laid back event that has the athletes of Iowa focused. The evening is filled with games, laughter and best of all inclusion – which is a huge focus for Special Olympics.

Athletes are able to enjoy themselves mingling with guests or challenging them in a game of bag toss, or getting their picture taken to remember the evening. Most of the athletes’ favorite part of the evening is being featured on player cards with their picture and some facts about them on the back. The athletes sign these and hand them out to guests as conversation starters and ways to show off their accomplishments throughout their Special Olympics career!

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Staff Column: Class A Applications

As the schools and facilities start gearing up for another fantastic year of Special Olympics Iowa sport competitions, I have one item to refresh/remind you on – the staff-sallyClass A Volunteer Application. My name is Sally Briggs and I process all the Class A applications. We have updated our website with the Class A Volunteer information.  From the home page hover over “Get Involved” and click on “Class A Volunteers” or use this link.

Here are some common tips to remember when filling out the Class A Volunteer application:

  • Who should fill out the Class A application?
    • Anyone who has direct contact with athletes, in a position of authority, supervision or trust of athletes
    • Coach, Unified partner, chaperone, one on one, board member, LETR (Law Enforcement Torch Run) volunteers, Committee members, anyone that transports, stays over night with athletes, handles substantial amounts of cash or other assets for Special Olympics Iowa

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Dunkin’ Donuts Cop on a Rooftop Set for September 9

CaptureLaw enforcement officers will stake themselves atop 18 participating Dunkin’ Donuts locations across the state of Iowa on Sept. 9 to help raise money for Special Olympics Iowa (SOIA) in the 2nd annual Cop on a Rooftop event. 

Cop on a Rooftop” is a unique fundraiser where local officers stand on the roof of a local business while volunteers help collect donations at the entrance and drive-thru of the business. You’ll be able to get a free coffee coupon from participating Dunkin’ Donuts stores when you make a donation to SOIA.

This event is one of many planned and implemented each year by the Law Enforcement Torch Run (LETR) in support of SOIA.

Each year, the LETR initiative continues to grow. In 2015, LETR worked with 750+ law enforcement officers to raise more than $875,000 for Iowa athletes.

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SOIA Seeks Volunteer Translator

Special Olympics Iowa is looking for a volunteer to help translate important documents into Spanish for future use. We have several forms, including our Physical and Consent form, that we would like to also have in Spanish on our website and available at the state office.

If you or someone you know would be interested in helping with this, contact Gary Harms at 515-986-5520 or

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SOIA Involvement at the 2016 Iowa State Fair

Special Olympics Iowa athletes had several opportunities to display their accomplishments this year at the 2016 Iowa State Fair.  IMG_7442

On Wednesday, August 10 athletes and their families were invited to take part in the annual State Fair parade that kicks off the fair. Athletes held up banners and waved at parade watchers as they made their way from the Capitol Building in downtown Des Moines to the State Fairgrounds. Our Statewide Partner Wells Fargo was also on hand at the parade that day as they let SOIA athletes ride in the Wells Fargo stagecoach.

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Fall into Fitness Info

“Fall into Fitness” is a walking club designed to enable Special Olympics Iowa athletes and Unified Partners opportunities to become more active.  It is a flexible program that will be easy for teams to maintain. Each club will meet at least once per week to walk together.  More activities can be added to give variation to your fitness program.  Miles/activity will be recorded on a bi-weekly basis.  Miles will be used in a competition and incentives-based format. Individuals and teams with the highest average miles will receive awards at the conclusion of “Fall into Fitness.” In addition, the 5-station FIT Program pre- and post-assessments will be completed to record fitness progress.

Fall into Fitness Flyer

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2016 “Adaptive Sports on the Grand Concourse” State Fair Event

Come join us for a fun day of adaptive activities and INCLUSION at the Iowa State Fair!

On Friday, August 19 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Grand Concourse at the State Fair, Special Olympics Iowa, along with our friends at Adaptive Sports Iowa and Courage League Sports, will host “Adaptive Sports on the Grand Concourse.” The event will be a day of fun promoting understanding and tolerance as a way of narrowing the gap between those of varying abilities.

Athletes are invited to come out and take part in activities like bocce, bowling, wheelchair basketball, power soccer and more. There will also be equipment demonstrations and information about each organization and how to get involved with them.

We hope to see you there!

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