Articles from January 2017

FREE Tickets to Iowa Energy Game February 13 Available

Iowa_Energy_logo.svgSpecial Olympics Iowa (SOIA) has 50 FREE Iowa Energy tickets for the game on Monday, February 13 at 7 p.m. vs. the Reno Bighorns. 

The state office has 50 Iowa Energy tickets available for athletes and their families provided through the Veridian Cares program.

In addition to attending the February 13 game, athletes will also receive inflatable Thunderstix to root on the team and the opportunity to participate in the on court fan tunnel during the starting lineup. This is the tunnel that the players run through right before the game starts. To participate in this, your group will need to check in at Fan Services the night of the game at 6:30 p.m. Fan Services is located on the south side of the concourse at the top of Section 124 at Wells Fargo Arena.

Tickets are available at the state office. If interested, call 515-986-5520, or email Stephanie Kocer at to claim tickets.

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Pledge to End the “R-Word”

By: Chelsey Kimmel-Kendrick


Join us on our quest as we continue to educate people around the world about the Spread the Word to End the Word® Campaign on March 1. The “R-word” is a commonly used word in our society today. By using that word, you are affecting the attitudes and feelings of the millions of people who have, or know someone, with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

This grassroots campaign continues to strive for a community that is offensive-free and acceptable of every person by spreading the word through school events, rallies and social networking. Every year, Iowa’s Special Olympic athletes and supporters gather at the Iowa State Capitol in Des Moines in an effort to continue to raise awareness and share their stories. They encourage others to pledge to put an end to using the “r-word” by signing petitions, banners or by taking an oath.

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Third Annual Night to Shine Prom Coming to Iowa

By: Chelsey Kimmel-Kendrick 

For one night, it’s YOUR time to shine! Night to Shine is an event sponsored by the Tim Tebow Foundation that slowly began in 2015 as a way to connect thousands of guests with mental and intellectual disabilities simultaneously for a special prom celebration. Now, there are 11 countries and over 350 churches joining in.

On February 3 you can join in on the dance at one of five churches in Iowa to host the event. This worldwide event is for people with disabilities who are ages 16 to 99. The night is filled with fun from dancing, paparazzi and even a red carpet. Students from the Iowa School of Beauty help out to make everyone look spectacular for the special night. They help the ladies with their hair and makeup, and help shine the gentlemen’s shoes. The churches also have limousines and decorated Link buses to help transport people to and from the locations.

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Basketball Skills Venue Change for Mid-Winter Tournament

There has been a venue change for the Special Olympics Iowa Mid-Winter Tournament, March 10-11 in Iowa City.

Basketball skills will now be conducted in the Main Gym of Iowa City High School located at 1900 Morningside Drive. 

Please make sure your athletes are in the staging area, in the auxiliary gym at Iowa City High School, at the appropriate time for their competition with their name tags on the front of their shirts.

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Staff Column: New Cheerleading and Dance Rules for Mid-Winter Tournament

As we get ready for another Mid-Winter Tournament, I would like to touch base with you on the Cheerleading and Dance Competition. My name is Katie Rasmussen and I am one of the venue directors for the Cheerleading and Dance competition that DSCN2974takes place at the Mid-Winter Tournament in March. We have completely revised our Cheerleading and Dance manual that you can locate on our website here.

All Special Olympics Iowa Cheerleading and Dance competitions will be ran according to the rules and regulations in this manual.

Here are some helpful reminders to keep in mind for cheerleading:

  • No music is allowed
  • Time limit: 3 minutes
    • This includes changes in props, signs, etc.
  • A squad or individual must perform two different cheers
  • No more than 16 athletes are allowed on a squad
  • Two coaches will be allowed to coach in the coaches box
  • Divisioning will be based on ability, squad size and age (please see below for clarification)

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SOIA Night With the Bulldogs

Drake LogoOn Tuesday, February 7 Special Olympics Iowa (SOIA) athletes, family and friends are invited to attend the Drake University Men’s Basketball game against Illinois State. The game begins at 7 p.m. at the Knapp Center on Drake’s campus.

To purchase tickets to the game, go to and enter the promo code “Olympics.” Tickets are $5 each. There is a processing fee of $1 per ticket order.

Tickets will also be sold at

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2017 Summer Games Team Bocce Quota Request Form

The State Office is in the process of organizing the 2017 Summer Games Bocce Tournament. To fairly allocate the 110 team slots available for bocce please let us know the maximum number of teams your delegation would like to have in the tournament. Competition will be held outside, east of the Maple-Willow-Larch Dorms to provide more space for competition. The team tournament will be held on May 25 while the singles tournament will be held on May 26.

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SOIA Welcomes New Unified Sports and Volunteers Director

Special Olympics Iowa (SOIA) would like to welcome the newest member of the state office team, Bryan Coffey! Bryan has taken on the role of Director of Unified Sports and Volunteers. He’ll be working with schools across the state to implement Unified Sports Days and Youth Leadership Programs as well as organizing volunteers for SOIA programs and events.Bryan

Bryan graduated in 2012 from the University of Northern Iowa with a degree in social work. He’s had a long history with SOIA, as a volunteer first and then as an intern at the state office during the spring semester of his senior year. Bryan’s work with SOIA has included everything from event planning and organization to fundraising and media relations. He’s played a key role in past events like Young Athletes Play Days, Challenge Days and Polar Plunges.

During school Bryan also worked for eight summers with the Boy Scouts of America as a Summer Camp Program Director.

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2017 Winter Games a Success in Dubuque

Winter Games Web Photos (4)2Special Olympics Iowa’s 31st annual Winter Games happened in Dubuque on January 9th and 10th. Athletes from across the state competed in winter sports like figure skating, speed skating, Alpine skiing, cross country skiing and snowshoeing.

Along with the two days of competition, athletes also enjoyed an Opening Ceremony, banquet, dance, scarf exchange, and pool party at the Grand Harbor Resort & Waterpark.  

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LETR Extravaganza Dance and Auction


Join us for our Law Enforcement Torch Run Extravaganza (previously known as the Torch Run Dance & Auction) hosted by the Des Moines Police Department on Saturday, January 21st from 7-11 p.m. at Hy-Vee Hall.

Tickets are $20 per person.

The night includes a DJ, appetizers, photo booth, refreshments and a live and silent auction! Each attendee will receive and entry for a $100 cash drawing donated by Jeannie’s Bottle.

Purchase tickets online
Tickets can also be bought the night of the event.

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