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Athletes enjoy Parade of Lights at Ventura Harbor

Over 120 athletes and their families enjoyed a scrumptious dinner and a visit by Santa, who handed out goody bags full of treats and fun.  Then, it was off to a 90 foot yacht, all decorated for the Christmas holiday, and a tour around the Ventura Harbor for the Parade of Lights.


The evening was courtesy of Joseph Fan, President of Brighton Management and owner of the Four Points by Sheraton Ventura Harbor.  Each year, the Sheraton hosts our Ventura County athletes and their families and it is an event which is eagerly anticipated and fills up quickly.  The yacht won 2nd prize in the Parade of Lights.

Brighton Management also made a $10,000.00 donation to Special Olympics Ventura County.  We truly appreciate the ongoing support of our athletes – Joseph is a treasured friend of our athletes!









2017 Annual Parade of Lights

On Saturday, December 16th, over 120 athletes and members of their families, coaches and volunteers were treated to a scrumptious dinner, a visit from Santa Claus, goodie bags, and a ride on a rather large boat!

It was the annual Parade of Lights at the Ventura Harbor, and for about the 11th year, the Four Points by Sheraton Ventura Harbor invited Special Olympics Ventura County to join in the festivities. 

This is an event which always fills up quickly, and this year was no different.  We had to start a waiting list, but fortunately, the Sheraton came up with a 90 foot yacht to accommodate everyone!  The smoke from the recent Thomas fire didn’t dampen spirits and everyone who attended had a fantastic time.

Joseph Fan, President of Brighton Management (owners of Four Points by Sheraton Ventura Harbor and other hotels) continued to show his unwavering support for Special Olympics and our Ventura County athletes with a Holiday gift of $10,000.00!

Wishing a wonderful Christmas and Holiday Season for everyone!


Athletes on Parade (of Lights!)

Every year, one of our most valued supporters, the Four Points by Sheraton Ventura Harbor Resort, hosts over 120 Ventura County Special Olympics athletes at the annual Parade of Lights at the Ventura Harbor.  Boats & yachts, large and small, are decorated in festive Holiday decorations and lights and then line up and sail around the harbor.  Entries are judged and awards are given, and it is a wonderful and festive event finished off by spectacular fireworks.

Each year, the hotel enters three to four yachts and athletes get to ride in the parade.  Prior to this, the hotel provides a scrumptious dinner by the hotel's restaurant, Alexander's (and it's good!!) for the athletes and their parents.  Wouldn't you know, Santa even arrives to give out Holiday treats and gifts.  The dinner is completed by a generous check presentation to Special Olympics Ventura County, and then the athletes are off to board the yachts!

This year's event will be held on Saturday, December 16th.  The Parade of Lights begins at 6:30 p.m. and we would love everyone to make their way to the Harbor, the shops and docks, to watch from the shore, and cheer as our athletes sail by.

We truly appreciate the Four Points by Sheraton, their staff, management, and owner Joseph Fan of Brighton Management, for their outstanding generosity for everything they do for our athletes throughout the year.  In July, the athletes are treated to an annual dance in the Grand Ballroom, with buffet munchies, decorations provided by volunteer groups, and a live D.J.

Here is a photo from last year's event.


Ventura County visits New Zealand!

In 2015, Special Olympics Southern California hosted the 2015 World Games in Los Angeles.  Athletes from around the world arrived to compete and for a few days before the games began were housed by Host Cities around Southern California.  Four Ventura County cities were tapped to be Host Cities.  These cities hosted certain delegations and the Camarillo location housed and entertained the delegation from Saudi Arabia and New Zealand.

Long time Special Olympics supporter and Law enforcement Torch Run representative for Ventura County, Sheriff’s Deputy Mike Zabarsky, was tasked with providing security for the New Zealand delegation.  During the time they were here for World Games, Deputy Zabarsky made numerous and lasting friends among the coaches and athletes.

It was a surprise and a great honor when Deputy Zabarsky received an invitation to attend the New Zealand National Games as an honored dignitary.  In addition to attending the games, he was given the honor of carrying the Special Olympics Torch along with one of the New Zealand Global Messenger’s and athlete named Rochelle.

Before leaving, Mike stopped by our Ventura office and asked if we had anything that he could take to the New Zealand dignitaries, coaches and athletes as gifts.  He was taking Ventura County Sheriff’s patches and special Challenge Coins, and we gave him the remaining 2017 Torch Run shirts we had on hand.

Mike arrived about a week prior to the National Games and has been sending us numerous photos of his visit to the New Zealand countryside.  And then, it was time for Opening Ceremonies.  Mike sent a touching photo of an obviously proud Ventura County Sheriff’s Deputy and the New Zealand representative, Rochelle.  Note the Ventura County Sheriff's badge sticker on Rochelle's tee-shirt!

Day by day, photos are still coming in and we hope you check out the albums we have posted on our Facebook page at Special Olympics Southern California Ventura County Region.