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Community Shows Support for Special Olympics at La Habra Police Department Tip-A-Cop Event Held at Red Robin
11/6/2018

 

Special Olympics and the La Habra Police Department recently held their fundraising event, Tip-A-Cop, at Red Robin in the city of La Habra.  On this night, officers and Special Olympics athletes served as guest servers in the restaurant while collecting donations from the patrons for Special Olympics.

 

The law enforcement lead, Community Service Officer II Christina Nunez, makes it her mission to get the word out to the community about this special fundraising night.

 

“The key to a successful Tip-A-Cop is Community Support!  I contact the Chamber of Commerce, City employees and churches in the area.  Over the years, the community has seen the same athletes plus an occasional new athlete or two.  They come to know them and regard them as friends and family,” states Nunez.

 

The event this year raised nearly $6,000 and money is still coming in.  More than a fundraising event, this night is a chance for the community to meet their officers, an opportunity for the restaurant to promote, and a chance for patrons to sit and chat with the Special Olympics athletes.

Regional Fall Games Recap
11/6/2018

They say when it rains, it pours, and that it did on Saturday October 13 at Orange County’s Regional Fall Games.  Despite the rain, the athletes proudly marched into the stadium at Santa Ana Public Schools Sports Complex for opening ceremony.  The softball fields and tennis courts were too wet to play, and ultimately both sports were cancelled due to rain, but soccer and volleyball played on.  The sheer excitement that exuded from the soccer athletes because they were getting to play in the rain was contagious.  Although the tennis and softball athletes were unable to compete, they participated in Healthy Athletes screenings.  In total, there were 68 athletes screened.  Overall, it was a wonderful day of competition for our athletes.

Columbus Day Drive Recap
11/6/2018

We are very proud to announce the Fifteenth Annual Columbus Day Drive for Special Olympics was another success.   On a beautiful fall day at the prestigious Mission Viejo Country Club, an almost sold out course enjoyed a great day of golf, food, fun and charity.  Starting with the early check-in and a rousing rendition of the national anthem by Jay White, the golfers enjoyed fresh BBQ’d tri tip sandwiches on the course sponsored by the Bolton Family and additional treats provided by Chick-Fil-A. 

After everyone completed their round of golf, we were welcomed into the main clubhouse to enjoy some refreshments and take an opportunity in the silent auction.  Following the silent auction, we were welcomed into the main dining room for a full sit-down dinner and the evening program.  The highlights of the evening were the live auction and the sponsor an athlete ask.

Many thanks to all of the players, sponsors, staff and volunteers.  Special thanks to Rich and Nancy Swanson, Chris Griswold and Steve Bolton.  

 

Fall Games Volunteers Wanted!
9/7/2018
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October 13 is a big day for the athletes competing at Orange County’s Regional Fall Games.  They have been practicing for weeks and are ready to go for the gold.  We rely on volunteers like you to run successful competitions.  There are still volunteer spots available and we need your help to fill them.  To join us as a volunteer, please visit 

https://2018-oc-regionalfallgames-volunteer.my-trs.com/

Global Messengers: Spreading the Message of Special Olympics
7/9/2018

Within the Special Olympics Southern California organization is a group of Special Olympics athletes dedicated to spreading the message throughout the region. This specialized group is ready and willing to educate and inform about the mission, philosophy and benefits of Special Olympics. They are at the ready to speak at events and at meetings of service clubs such as The Knights of Columbus. The Orange County group since their inception has gained a reputation and in attendance at their July meeting will be delegates from the San Diego region as well as former LA County Supervisor Don Knabe.

 Marilyn Skinner, one of the lead volunteers with the Global Messengers and mother of a Special Olympics athlete, puts in long hours to help oversee this program.

“Watching the Special Olympics Global Messengers expand their horizons and gain confidence in their abilities has been and continues to be very rewarding,” states Skinner.

Charitable organizations such as Special Olympics and their Global Messenger Program rely heavily on volunteer support. Many volunteers lend their time and support at the athletic and fundraising events and many volunteers take on additional leadership roles, participating in programs like Global Messenger throughout the year. Other year round volunteer leaders are Dan and Ticky Gorin, parents of Special Olympics athlete, Joseph Gorin. Joseph serves as President of the Gavel Club, the Global Messenger training format that meets monthly. The Gavel Club has recently adopted many techniques taken directly from the Toastmasters’ Competent Communicator manual. Areas worked on at the Gavel Club meetings include speaking before an audience, organizing a speech, using vocal variety, body language and visual aids, and delivering speeches to persuade and inspire.

“Because the main inspiration for involvement is a personal connection between the potential sponsor and a representative of an organization, there can be few more effective appeals than a Global Messenger expressing how Special Olympics has impacted their life,” says Dan and Ticky Gorin.

To learn more or request a Global Messenger to speak at your company or event, please visit https://www.sosc.org/athletes/global-messengers

 

Add a "Twist" to your day and help support our Athletes!
7/9/2018


On August 19 the Twisted Vine, Orange County’s #1 wine bar (OC Register 2017) will be donating 20% of its day’s proceeds to benefit our local athletes. Located in a cozy historical building in downtown Fullerton, you’ll find glowing candles, lounge seating and small plates suitable for sharing.

Whether you chose an intelligently curated red or white wine, enjoy food from their tempting menu, or select one of the 17 top-quality craft beers from around the country, you will be helping raise money for Special Olympics Southern California.

Date: Sunday, August 19

Hours: 11 am – 10 pm

Location: The Twisted Vine, 127 W. Commonwealth Ave., Fullerton

Phone: 714-871-1200

*Lunch or dinner reservations are recommended

All proceeds from this event benefit local Athletes in North Orange County! .... we hope to see you there!

 

Serving & Leading
6/20/2018

 

 

At Special Olympics, volunteer leaders are critical to our movement. Thanks to leaders such as Christina Nunez, Community Service Officer with La Habra Police Department, we are able to succeed in ways that would be otherwise impossible.

One of our most important grassroots community outreach and fundraising activities are the Tip-A-Cop events that take place throughout the year. Under Christina’s expert management last year, the La Habra Red Robin Tip-A-Cop (TAC) raised a record $7,000 in one evening. Not only was it the largest Red Robin TAC in the state of California, it was the second most successful event in the nation. On June 7, in recognition of her achievement and long-time commitment to Special Olympics, Chief Jerry Price awarded Christina with the Distinguished Service Medal at their annual Award and Commendations Ceremony.

 

Congratulations Christina for receiving such a distinguished award!

 

Betty Belden Palmer Outstanding Athlete of the Year - Rebecca Nerney
2/6/2018

Congratulations to Rebecca Nerney on recieving the Betty Belden Outstanding Athlete of the Year Award! We asked Rebecca how Special Olympics has impacted her and what is means to recieve this award.

“Special Olympics has taught me to be brave in whatever happens in my life!”  This poignant statement from the Special Olympics Orange County Athlete of the Year, Rebecca Nerney, illustrates that through the power of sports, people with intellectual disabilities discover new strengths and abilities, skills and success. She finds joy, confidence and fulfillment on the playing field and in life.  

When asked what being named the Special Olympics Orange County Athlete of the Year means to her, Rebecca replied, “Orange County Special Olympics has been a part of my life for 40+ years. It never even crossed my mind that I would be nominated for Athlete of the Year.  I am so honored!”  Over these forty plus years Rebecca has competed in eleven different sports and traveled all over the globe to represent the Orange County Region making lifelong friends out of the many athletes, coaches and volunteers she has met along the way.  This proud and compassionate woman went on to say, “I feel that all the Orange County Special Olympians are athletes of the year! I am just representing them.”

 

The Heart of a Champion-Special Olympics on Parade Auction Highlights
2/5/2018

 

Join us on Saturday, April 21, 2018 for the 15th Annual Heart of a Champion- Special Olympics on Parade at the vibrant AV Club in Irvine. Here are some exciting highlights from our upcoming Silent Auction that evening. The entire auction will feature over 75 items! Purchase your tickets become a sponsor today at www.sosc.org/soop 

 

Floor Hockey Competition
2/5/2018

Join us on February 10th at The Rinks at HB Inline from 10AM – 4 PM for an exciting floor hockey competition.  Athletes will go for the gold as they take on teams from Orange County and surrounding regions in what promises to be a very exciting and action packed competition.

 

Become a Coach!
2/5/2018

 

The spring season is underway and we are still looking for more swimming coaches. If you are interested in becoming a coach, please contact Lindsay Marksbury at lmarksbury@sosc.org for more information.

 

Save the Date! The Heart of a Champion- Special Olympics on Parade
1/10/2018

Please join us on Saturday, April 21, 2018 from 6:00 to 10:00 pm at our most important fundraiser of the year, the 15th Annual The Heart of a Champion - Special Olympics on Parade. Our signature event is a celebration of our Special Olympics athletes and the joy, courage and camaraderie with which they compete. More than 450 people are expected to attend with donations reaching $375,000. The event will take place at our new venue, AV Irvine in Irvine, California. At The Heart of a Champion, one of the gala highlights is The Parade of Champions. Olympians and professional athletes are paired with a Special Olympics participant as they march through the ballroom to the main stage. We are pleased to announce that Rebecca Nerney will be honored with the Outstanding Athlete of the Year award during the dinner program. The event also includes a reception and silent auction, athlete entertainment, dinner and awards, and live music and dancing. Please contact Jennifer Jones jjones@sosc.org with any questions. To register, visit sosc.org/soop 


 

Powerful Messages from our Global Messengers
12/4/2017

Orange County has a team of 17 Global Messengers who are Special Olympics athletes, trained in public speaking, who spread the message and vision of our movement by their powerful declarations of hope and success in Special Olympics. In total, our Global Messengers have given 252 presentations to groups, corporations, schools and organizations in 2017.  If you have an organization, corporation or group that would like to learn more about Special Olympics with the help of a Global Messenger, please contact, Daniel Hale at dhale@sosc.org

 

Law Enforcement Accomplishments in Orange County
12/4/2017

2017 has quite an incredible year with our Orange County Law Enforcement Partners.  In total, they participated in over 59 events to fundraise and support our athletes, including: 28 Tip-A-Cops, 3 Dunkin Donuts Cop-on-a-Roof locations & the Annual Law Enforcement Torch Run which runs throughout 28 cities over a 4-day period.  The total fundraising effort brought in over $165,000 to support the athletes in our region.  Special Olympics Orange County is deeply thankful and grateful for their effort, time, and leadership to support our athletes!

 

 

Thank You Volunteers!
12/4/2017

In looking back on what an amazingly successful year 2017 has been for Special Olympics Orange County, we recognize that none of it could have been possible without the immense support, time and energy of our incredible volunteers!  A deeply heartfelt thank you goes out to each individual, group, corporation, School Partnerships, schools, colleges and our Law Enforcement partners, who has helped to make this year the tremendous success it has been for our athletes and the Special Olympics Orange County region!  “No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted.” Aesop

 

Wooden Legacy and Special Olympics
12/4/2017

The 2017 Wooden Legacy is a three-day, multi-team men’s college basketball event, which takes place over Thanksgiving Weekend in Orange County, CA.  On November 24, 11 athletes from the Garden Grove Rebels basketball team played in a 10-minute halftime scrimmage during the SDSU vs Georgia semi-final game.  It was a very evenly matched game where all athletes had a chance to show off their skills.  Thank you to Casey Parisi and ESPN for this amazing opportunity to highlight our Special Olympics athletes!

'Born This Way' Star Sean McElwee Makes December Special Olympics Month
12/4/2017

24 year old 'Born This Way' star Sean McElwee started his own apparel company called Seanease and has selected 12 organizations to give back to that have supported him. Sean has named December Special Olympics month which means 10% of all sales in the month of December through Seanese.com will be donated back to Special Olympics Orange County! Special Olympics supporters will also be able to use the code SPECIAL15 for 15% off their order. See Sean's T-shirts at Seanese.com. Watch the inspiration of how Sean started his apparel company, Seanese HERE.

The Heart of a Champion- Special Olympics on Parade
12/4/2017

Please join us on Saturday, April 21, 2018 from 6:00 to 10:00 pm at our most important fundraiser of the year, the 15th Annual The Heart of a Champion - Special Olympics on Parade. Our signature event is a celebration of our Special Olympics athletes and the joy, courage and camaraderie with which they compete. More than 450 people are expected to attend with donations reaching $375,000. The event will take place at our new venue, AV Irvine in Irvine, California. At The Heart of a Champion, one of the gala highlights is The Parade of Champions. Olympians and professional athletes are paired with a Special Olympics participant as they march through the ballroom to the main stage. We are pleased to announce that Rebecca Nerney will be honored with the Outstanding Athlete of the Year award during the dinner program. The event also includes a reception and silent auction, athlete entertainment, dinner and awards, and live music and dancing.

 

2017 Columbus Day Drive Recap
11/9/2017

Thank You to our amazing event chair and founder Steve Walters along with the 144 golfers for their generous support of the 14th Annual Columbus Day Drive benefiting Special Olympics Orange County. This signature event just keeps getting better, selling out once again this year on October 9, 2017 at the prestigious Mission Viejo Country Club. We are grateful to announce the event raised $137,000 in support of our local Athletes. Highlights of the event included our reception and auction featuring live entertainment, Trisha Freeman, dinner program including Athlete of the Year, Jenny Skinner and a performance from Special Olympics Athlete, Jay White. Additional thank you to all sponsors, in-kind donors, foursomes, individual golfers, attendees, volunteers and Special Olympics athletes for making our event a success.

 

The Chief’s Challenge
11/9/2017

On October 19th, 8 restaurant locations across Orange County set out to have fun and raise money for our athletes at the annual Red Robin Tip-A-Cops!  However, two agencies: Irvine PD and Tustin PD raised the bar of competition towards fundraising by enacting a Chief’s Challenge between the two teams. The challenge was to see which team could raise the most amount of money at the event with the winning Chief to enjoy having his car washed by the other Chief!  It was close, so close in fact, that Tustin PD won by just $18.00! Together, the two teams raised $9238.00. We thank Tustin PD, Irvine PD and all of our Law Enforcement partners for working so hard to raise money for our Orange County athletes!

 

Volunteer at our Fall School Basketball Games!
11/9/2017

Calling all volunteers! Share your talents at the OC Fall School Basketball Games within a   fun and rewarding opportunity.  This will be our largest competition of the year!  By  volunteering for this fun and rewarding event, you are helping to put a smile on the faces of over 500 Special Olympics athletes. 

Register today by visiting https://2017-oc-schoolbasketballgames-volunteer.my-trs.com/