Year-End update: “Flaming enthusiasm, backed up by horse sense and persistence, is the quality that most frequently makes for success.”  The unknown author of this quote must know something about an organization driven by an important mission. Thanks to the horse sense, persistence and the flaming enthusiasm of athletes, volunteers, donors, staff, and Board of Directors, Special Olympics Oregon had an exciting year of success!

Special Olympics Oregon Summer State Games 2011

Special Olympics Oregon Summer State Games 2011

Special Olympics Oregon 2011

Special Olympics Oregon 2011

From Special Olympics Oregon:

Our number of individuals with intellectual disability served increased statewide by 17%.
Our grand Summer State Games returned after a two-year economy-triggered suspension.
Our 30 volunteer-driven Local Programs serving our participants year-round in every county stayed strong.
Our major fundraising events – The Governors’ Gold Awards, The Bite of Oregon, Polar Plunge – exceeded expected revenue.
Our quota of volunteer Special Olympics Oregon coaches increased from 35 newly-trained in 2010 to 227 in 2011.
Our number of great friends increased – more companies, individuals and organizations caught the vision of Special Olympics Oregon’s momentous impact on the lives of thousands with intellectual disabilities, their families and their communities.  Over and over again, we heard those magnificent words:  I want to help.

Special Olympics Oregon Polar Plunge 2011

Special Olympics Oregon Polar Plunge 2011

Special Olympics Oregon Governors' Gold Awards 2011

Special Olympics Oregon Governors' Gold Awards 2011

More from Special Olympics Oregon:

To all of you, we say with full hearts, “Thank you.”  You have helped in ways you may not even imagine.  You have changed lives, changed hearts, changed the world.  We are most grateful. Hear first hand from athletes and coaches what Special Olympics Oregon has meant to them this year:

What does Special Olympics Oregon mean to you?
Special Olympics Oregon (SOOR) has given my son a chance to be included and accepted just the way he is. They have provided priceless and endless resources for us as parents. Most importantly SOOR has filled our hearts with joy. My son has a chance to actually be on a team, playing a sport that he loves right at his own school! I am thankful for a way to fulfill his dreams and wishes! Thank you SOOR, without you it would not be possible! (Kristy Minor, Special Olympics Oregon Parent)

How did you get your start in Special Olympics Oregon?
I started participating in Special Olympics Oregon back in the 1992 softball season. It was one of the best moves that I ever made for myself. It has been 17 seasons that I have been a Special Olympics Oregon Athlete and I can tell you from personal experience that I have enjoyed each and every game that I have played over the years. I never think of just myself. It is very important to me that I get my teammates involved with the games that we all play as a team. We all win and lose as one team and NOT individual players. Playing games in all sports for Special Olympics Oregon is a lot of fun. I just never want it to end. (Nathan LaMarche, Special Olympics Oregon Athlete)

What has Special Olympics Oregon done for you this year?
Special Olympics is one of those rare and amazing opportunities to be a part of something bigger than myself. As a coach I get to look into each athlete and see endless possibilities that they may not even know they have. I can set goals and see the athletes far surpass them. As a parent of an athlete, I get to see my daughter make friends that are unconditionally loving and accepting. We all get to treat each other as precious, valuable, gifted and strong! There is always encouragement and recognition available to everyone. I have seen over the last 21 years so many lives changed for the better, and relationships built that last a lifetime. With every challenge is a miracle getting ready to happen! (Cindy Miguel, Special Olympics Oregon Coach)

Help us reach one more athlete this holiday season by contributing a tax-deductable gift to Special Olympics Oregon.
Volunteer this year with Special Olympics Oregon and help us continue to serve the largest disability population in the state.

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