Articles from October 2016

SOIA Athlete to Open Restaurant in Conrad, IA

By Kandy Fisher 

Blaine Fisher of Conrad, IA is a Special Olympics Iowa athlete and Global Messenger and is in the process of opening his own restaurant in his hometown. His restaurant will be called “Blaine’s on Main.”blaine-shirt

Blaine will be naming his daily lunch specials after those who have made an impact in his life; his former high school football coaches will have a sandwich called “The Locker Room Slider” and the men in the high school bus barn, who he helped when volunteering, will have “The Bus Barn Burger,” just to name a few.

Eventually, Blaine will hire others with intellectual disabilities and give them a place to learn work and social skills. He will also be selling goods made by those with disabilities in his gift shop. Blaine will be sole owner and proprietor and is selling T-shirts and accepting donations to help with unexpected remodeling costs. The shirts come in sizes Youth L-Adult XL for $15 and 2-3X for $17.

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Casey’s Cup Campaign raises over $39,000 for Special Olympics Iowa

img_1062-800x533Casey’s General Stores throughout Iowa helped raise funds for Special Olympics Iowa this summer with the Casey’s Cup Campaign. Starting May 19 just in time for the SOIA Summer Games and running through Labor Day, they showcased athletes and law enforcement officials on their 44 ounce cups, with a portion of the proceeds from the cups sold going toward Special Olympics Iowa.

Casey’s General Store also supports Special Olympics Iowa athletes by providing financial support through Law Enforcement Torch Run® signature fundraisers, including the annual Truck Convoy, a golf tournament and much more. As a Premier Statewide Partner, Casey’s General Store has provided approximately $87,000 over the years to directly benefit Special Olympics Iowa athletes across the state.

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Kwik Star to Sell Polar Plunge Icons

kwik-star-color-logoStarting November 11th and running through November 24th, Kwik Star stores across Iowa will sell Polar Plunge icons in support of Special Olympics Iowa.

Customers can purchase a paper icon for just $1 each, sign their names on the icon and display them in their local Kwik Star to show support of our athletes during Plunge season.

Kwik Star has been a longtime supporter of Special Olympics Iowa. They are a Premier Statewide Partner and each year for two weeks, every Kwik Star in the state of Iowa sells Polar Plunge icons. Kwik Star employees also support our local programs and employ our athletes. Statewide campaigns such as this increase the awareness of the Special Olympics movement.

Visit your local Kwik Star store to purchase an icon and thank the Kwik Star team for supporting SOIA athletes.

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SOIA Play Days Help Young Athletes Discover the Joy of Sports

By: Julie Berns, SOIA athlete parent

When I first heard about Special Olympics Play Day for Young Athletes my daughter, Claire, was only three. I was skeptical. Claire was just a baby. She hung out with me at home and running errands, she wasn’t involved in any structured sport. She has always been small for her age, even compared to other children with Down Syndrome, how would she compete?photo1

Being tiny has never slowed Claire down for a moment; she has always been a bundle of energy. So I let down my protective walls that I had been keeping her in, and I signed her up.

The building seemed to be a hive of activity when we first stepped in. People everywhere, yet it was an organized chaos. We got our T-shirts on and found Kathy, Director of Athlete Initiatives for Special Olympics Iowa (SOIA), and introduced her to Claire. Kathy scooped her up, chatted with her, and asked for a picture with Claire. This had become our tradition every year, find Kathy and take a picture!

Awesome is such an over-used word, but that was how it was for me walking in there; I was in awe. All of these people, laughter, cheers, smiles. No one was telling me that, “Down Syndrome people are always so happy.” The only looks we got were smiles, we were totally accepted, and that is such a peaceful feeling.

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SOIA Holiday Card Design Contest

Attention athletes! Our holiday card art contest is happening NOW! This is your chance to have your artwork featured on the holiday card sent out by the state office.

Here’s what you need to do:
-Create your art! The artwork should be appropriate for a holiday card and needs to measure 5×7 (portrait or landscape).

-Send your creation to the state office by mail or email:
-Stephanie Kocer-
-Special Olympics Iowa 551 SE Dovetail Rd., PO Box 620 Grimes, IA 50111

-Deadline for artwork submissions is Friday, November 4th.
-SOIA staff will announce the winner in November.


Good luck SOIA artists!

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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).

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