Articles in Uncategorized

Athlete Competes in 2017 Principal Charity Classic


For the third year in a row, Special Olympics Iowa athlete Brian Rolek was asked to take part in the Principal Charity Classic . On Tuesday, June 6 Rolek tee’d off for a fun round of golf with some special guests during the Pro-Am portion of the Classic. A Pro-Am takes place before the professional event and joins ordinary golfers on a team with a PGA Tour golfer. This year Rolek teamed up with pro Rod Spittle.

When he’s not golfing and participating in other SOIA sports, Rolek works full-time at the YMCA, enjoys hunting with his brothers, and often volunteers at Special Olympics fundraisers.

Rolek says he had a great time golfing at the event. Congratulations on a great day of golf, Brian!


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Special Olympics Founder to be Honored at The 2017 ESPYS

From Special Olympics North America

18920334_10156388605263782_4870732662088496858_nEunice Kennedy Shriver dedicated her life to championing the rights and acceptance of people with intellectual disabilities. Her legacy lives on through Special Olympics, the global movement she founded in 1968 that harnesses the transformative power of sports to empower individuals with intellectual disabilities to become accepted and celebrated members of society.

A Visionary and a Revolutionary

To honor her work and her creation of Special Olympics, Eunice Kennedy Shriver will be posthumously honored with the Arthur Ashe Courage Award at The 25th ESPYS Presented by Capital One on Wednesday, July 12.Timothy Shriver, one of Shriver’s five children and Chairman of Special Olympics, will accept the award on her behalf. The award is sponsored by Cadillac.

“My mother, Eunice Kennedy Shriver, was a visionary, but, more importantly, a revolutionary,” said Timothy Shriver on behalf of the Shriver family and Special Olympics. “Fueled by love and anger, she used sport to break down the barriers, she used fields of play to bring people together, and she opened the doors of inclusion and equality to the most marginalized on Earth. It is now up to all of us to follow the athletes of Special Olympics who can teach us all to accept and include each other.”

Shriver grew up as a member of the Kennedy Family alongside her sister, Rosemary, who had intellectual disabilities. Rosemary’s talents and gifts made Shriver acutely aware of all that people with intellectual disabilities have to offer, but she recognized early on that there were limited programs and options for people like her sister. The pair bonded through sports like football, skiing and sailing, and Shriver appreciated the role sports play in unifying people from all walks of life.

The idea started in 1962 as Camp Shriver, as a summer day camp in the backyard of her Maryland farm. Camp Shriver grew and eventually evolved into Special Olympics, with the first International Special Olympics Games taking place in 1968 at Soldier Field in Chicago, Illinois, welcoming 1,000 athletes from 26 states and Canada to compete. Today, Special Olympics is year-round, includes 5.3 million athletes in more than 170 countries, and over 1 million coaches and volunteers, delivering 32 Olympic-type sports and more than 108,000 competitions throughout the year. Read More

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Rich Fellingham Named President and CEO of Special Olympics Iowa

rich-editRich Fellingham has been named the President and CEO of Special Olympics Iowa. He will lead the organization and help manage donor relationships, finances and administration as well as being a liaison to the SOIA Board of Directors and Iowa’s representative with Special Olympics North America and Special Olympics International.
Fellingham has a long history with SOIA, as he served in the CEO position for 12 years in the past. The SOIA staff looks forward to working with him once again.
Welcome back, Rich!
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Thank You, Norm Johnson!

The Special Olympics Iowa family would like to thank Norm Johnson for his service Johnson_Norm_09241963and dedication as the North Area Director for the state of Iowa. Norm will be moving into a position with the YMCA in Louisville, Kentucky after July 22.

Norm has been involved with Special Olympics in high school and college in both Iowa and South Dakota. He ran the very first powerlifting event for the South Dakota State Games and went on to coach the South Dakota delegation for the World Games in 1995 in New Haven, Connecticut.

There is a lot he will miss about working with SOIA. “Working with the athletes, and giving them a venue and platform to compete is the best. I also really enjoyed bringing our volunteers together to support the various activities, and seeing their genuine enthusiasm and support for the athletes,” he says.

With dedication to SOIA, athletes, parents and volunteers, Norm will be missed. SOIA wishes him the very best of luck in all his future endeavors. We know he will continue to promote the power of INCLUSION.

Norm and athletes

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Discounted Iowa Football Tickets

Iowa vs. Miami, OH Sept. 3, 2:30 p.m. Kickoff 

SOIA athletes and their families are invited to Iowa’s season opener at great discounted group rate pricing!


SOIA Youth (high school and younger): $25
SOIA Adult: $45
Regular single game rate: $55


ORDER TODAY! Call Bravo Sports at 319-626-8286 or order online.
All orders will be seated together.
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Look, Cook, and Eat’s “Super Special Soups” Event at 2016 Iowa State Fair

Look, Cook, and Eat invites you to participate in a new event during the Iowa State Fair on Monday, August 15 at noon at the Elwell Family Food Center on the west side of the Fairgrounds.

Here’s what’s happening: New this year is a cooking competition called “Super Special Soups” sponsored by LCE and Kitchen Craft, a cookware company in Florida. It’s open to anyone 16 years of age or older with special needs. They want to taste your favorite soup recipe that uses nine ingredients or less–all you have to do is prepare the soup, bring it to the Fair for the competition, and write the recipe out on a card along with a few sentences about why your soup is special.
Each soup will be judged on Taste, Ease of Preparation, Appearance and Creativity.


1st Place winner receives $200, a 1-year subscription to LCE, and a 1-qt. saucepan from Kitchen Craft.
2nd Place winner receives $150, a 1-year subscription to LCE, and a 1-qt. saucepan from Kitchen Craft.
3rd Place winner receives $100, a 1-year subscription to LCE, and a 1-qt. saucepan from Kitchen Craft.
Every person that enters will receive a Look, Cook, and Eat spatula to use in their kitchen.


Participants can enter online here or print the documents below from the Fair booklet and mail them in on the address provided on the forms. Here’s the catch: deadline for entry is July 1! That’s this Friday!! Now, the soup recipe doesn’t need to be perfected by then. Participants just need to enter. The fee to enter is $5. From July 2 to July 8, the fee is $10. After July 10, entries close. Participants have plenty of time to get their soup recipes in shape for competition!


Questions can be directed to Sue Hoss of LCE at


We hope to see you at the Iowa State Fair on Monday, August 15!



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SOIA Welcomes New Information Manager

Special Olympics Iowa is pleased to announce the hiring of Tanner Nissen as the new Information Manager — Games and Events.staff- Tanner-1

Nissen was a recent Fellingham Intern with SOIA. During his time at SOIA he worked with both volunteers and games management systems, helped plan and execute Unified Days, and assisted with many other events and projects. He has a strong skill set in technology systems and applications.

A graduate of Northwestern College in Orange City with a degree in Sports and Business Management, Nissen has also completed internships with the Principal Charity Classic and the Sioux Falls Skyforce. Originally from Sacramento, California, he came to Iowa for college and is now happy to call Iowa home.

Please join us in welcoming Tanner to our Special Olympics Iowa family!

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June 2016 Fit Focus

We have just completed the “March to Summer Games” campaign. Here are the FIT-logo-vertical-203x300highlights!

  1. 11 Delegations participated with 120 total individuals registered
  2. 73 Special Olympics athletes and 47 Unified Partners
  3. 79 people completed the program and walked 10,110 miles for the 10 week program.
  4. Average of 128 miles per person
  5. 50 people joined the 50 Mile Club
  6. 37 people walked over 100 miles
  7. West Harrison Schools walked a total of 3628 miles.


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Summer Games Lost and Found

There are several lost and found items from Summer Games being kept at the state office. If you are looking for an item please contact Rhonda Schwarzkopf at (515)-986-5520.
*NOTE: A men’s gold wedding band was among the items found. Please call the office with a detailed description of the band if you believe it to be yours.
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2018 USA Games Technical Delegate Applications

Special Olympics North America is looking for qualified individuals to serve as volunteer technical delegate and assistant technical delegate for the 2018 Special Olympics USA Games to be held in Seattle, Washington, July 1-6, 2018.

To apply, review the cover memo, the technical delegate interest form and job description. Applications are due no later than June 20, 2016 via email, fax or mail. Resumes should include Special Olympics and Sport Federation experience, certifications and other applicable experience is acceptable.

Submit applications to: Greg Epperson, Special Olympics North America, 3712 Benson Drive, Suite 102, Raleigh, NC 27609.
Fax: 919-782-3311.

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