Portland, OR. Special Olympics Oregon organizers are thanking participants, including law enforcement officials, who took part in the 2019 Polar Plunge. The Special Olympics Oregon team is still totaling donations from all 5 Polar Plunge for Special Olympics Oregon events. (So far the Portland Plunge alone has raised $198,116.) The organization is still working to get back on sound financial footing after overspending on events left the group $2.5 million in debt. That debt prompted some hard decisions. Summer, fall and winter statewide games were canceled. Well-known fundraisers, like Bite of Oregon and the Governors’ Gold Awards, were called off as well. However, at the 2019 Portland Polar Plunge, spirits were high. Organizers are hoping fundraisers like the Plunge can help turn things around. Here are some of the photos from the event: (Photos credit Peter Van HoutenPeter Van Houten Photography)
From Special Olympics Oregon:
The heart and soul of Special Olympics Oregon begins in the hometowns of our athletes. While SOOR is rebuilding a sustainable organization that will provide Olympic-type year-round sports and athletic competitions for children and adults with intellectual disabilities for decades to come, we had to make the difficult, but responsible decision to temporarily suspend regional and state competitions.
However, our mission continues to live in communities across the state as our athletes train and engage with their friends and teammates, which is being funded through locally-raised dollars. Your participation and fundraising for Polar Plunge directly impacts athlete experiences at this local level, as $25 from every plunger goes directly to the Local Program in the plunger’s community!
The Polar Plunge is a unique opportunity for individuals, organizations, and businesses to support Special Olympics Oregon athletes by jumping, walking or slowly crawling into the frigid and icy Oregon waters. The event is open to the public, and all spectators are welcome free of charge.
For more information about the 2020 event, please contact Special Olympics Oregon at 503-248-0600, [email protected].
Portland, OR. We didn’t see images like these at the annual State Games in Salem last month, instead many Special Olympic athletes were sidelined, looking forward to fall and winter competitions. Now the Oregon nonprofit has announced both the fall and 2019 winter Special Olympics have been canceled over financial concerns. Special Olympics Oregon is auditing its financial statements to shore up resources, its reputation and the good faith of thousands of athletes who hunger to compete. Special Olympics Oregon also cancelled this year’s The Bite of Oregon, it’s biggest annual fundraiser, saying the event may return in the future.
According to the new CEO of Special Olympics Oregon who started on June 1st, Britt Oase, the organization had no other options. “Currently, we don’t have the funds available to pay for services we have used in the past, hindering our ability to carry out our 2018 schedule as planned…Please know that we are working diligently to return our athletes to the level of training and competition they deserve and that so many people are passionate about supporting.”
The 2016 financial statements reported a net operating loss of $131,850 and a decline in total net assets of $269,156. This follows operating losses in 2014 and 2015. The organization’s 2017 annual report has not yet been filed with the IRS.
Summer State Games of the past have always been a community highlight.
Until a new financial plan can be structured, CEO Britt Oase announced what community members can expect and how athletes can still train:
FALL AND WINTER TRAINING AND COMPETITION We’ve had the opportunity to connect with Local Program Coordinators this week to share information and gain feedback. As we discussed with this group, Special Olympics Oregon continues to address our financial situation and we are unable to provide regional or state competitions for the 2018 Fall or 2019 Winter seasons. Training for Fall and Winter seasons may be provided and supported by our Local Programs if they are able to do so at no cost.
HOW WILL TRAINING WORK?
At the discretion of Local Programs, training can continue for Fall and Winter sports under a “no cost” format
Local Programs may train at donated facilities within their own communities
SOOR State office will continue to cover expenses related to mailings, storage, insurance and background checks for Class A volunteers
SOOR State staff will work with Local Programs on roster management, athlete registration management & other tracking systems
SOOR State staff will work directly with LPCs to support the creation, implementation and communication of Fall & Winter season training plans
Local Programs can also provide additional athlete engagement, inclusion and support through alternative activities such as hiking/walking clubs, health initiatives and other sport or fitness activities. Under the direction of its volunteer management team, each Local Program will be able to select its own sports and other activities offered, along with start and finish dates for the season. We are thankful for the critical support of our Local Program Coordinators as they lead these efforts and share plans with their programs in the near future.
The Special Olympics Oregon website will offer updated details as they become available:
Seattle, WA. The 2018 USA Games are in the books and Team Oregon returned home with eleven gold medals. Champions were crowned in 14 sports during the 2018 Special Olympics USA Games July 1st-6th in Seattle. 4,000 athletes from across the country participated. In swimming, Shawn Hinz won both the 100-meter individual medley and 100-meter breaststroke.
Shawn Hinz taking off from the starting block at the 2018 Special Olympics USA Games
Kimberly Forrer took two golds: 100m Free and 100m Backstroke.
Megan Patrignelli, Hayley Ruck and Molly Muir.
Gold Medal Winners at the 2018 Special Olympics USA Games
Molly Muir: Shot Put
CJ Billings: 50m Backstroke
CJ Billings: 50m Free
Victoria Peckerman: 25m Backstroke
Victoria Peckerman: 50m Backstroke
Victoria Peckerman: 50m Free
Kimberly Forrer: 100m Free
Kimberly Forrer: 100m Backstroke
Shawn Hinz: HP 100m IM
Shawn Hinz: 100m Breaststroke
Dominic Flesey-Assad / Colin Herring: Bocce Unified Doubles
Thank you to Microsoft at Pioneer Place for sending our athletes off to Seattle in style! On June 30, Microsoft warmly opened their doors to host the Team Oregon delegation and its community of supporters. From adaptive gaming controllers to VR, several interactive stations were set up to celebrate Microsoft’s dedication to inclusive design. A giant “good luck” sign, inspiring speeches and a tunnel of high-fives created an atmosphere of community support for these truly amazing athletes.
A very special THANK YOU to the parents, grandparents, family, friends, community businesses and more who helped raise over $13,000 in support of Team Oregon. Also, thank you to Nike who provided uniforms, Microsoft for its sponsorship and hosting the Sendoff Party, NW Navigator for providing transportation to and from Seattle, Jersey Mike’s & Papa John’s for providing meals and many others who helped Team Oregon succeed at the 2018 USA Games.
Your donation will help Special Olympics Oregon athletes reach their full potential on and off the field for years to come.
Newberg, OR. The Law Enforcement Torch Run (LETR) celebrated its 30th Anniversary of supporting Special Olympics Oregon participants. Over 1,000 officers and athletes relayed the Flame of Hope throughout Oregon, which culminated in the Final Leg at Summer State Games July 9th and 10th in Newberg. Athletes competed in Athletics (Track & Field), Softball, Bocce and Golf.
Governor Kate Brown also visited the delegations before the Games Ceremony.
The Flame of Hope is delivered to the opening ceremony at the Newberg High School track.
Bocce takes concentration and attracts athletes of all ages.
Track and Field is always competitive.
Catherine Guider rounds the bases during the state softball tournament.
Special awards honored outstanding people.
Travis Koski from the Washington County Local Program was honored with the ‘Pride in Performance Athlete Award.’ He has been participating in Special Olympics Oregon for 7 years. Travis has grown to be very social and active. He strives to do his best, whether it be in athletics or academics and continues to inspire others with his positive outlook on life.
Carmen Dowell received the Pride in ‘Performance Volunteer Award.’ She is a Co-Local Program Coordinator, coach, assistant coach and unified partner for the Cottage Grove/Creswell Local Program and is dedicated to providing as many opportunities to athletes as possible.
The Ken Davis Unsung Hero Award was given to Officer Pam Ramsey from McMinnville Police Department. She has been involved with the Oregon Law Enforcement Torch Run (LETR) since 2010. She has been instrumental in coordinating the McMinnville Police Department leg of the Torch Run, their annual Tip-a-Cop and has also inspired other agencies to start their own fundraising efforts.
Portland, September 10th, 2015. If you couldn’t join the thousands who flocked to Pioneer Courthouse Square for The Standard’s Annual Volunteer Expo, you’re in luck. We’ve got all the information and website links to explore over 125 local nonprofits that could use your time.
A full list of links of nonprofits is at the bottom of our story.
R. Richard Crockett, (left) is the Program Operations Director & Volunteer Coordinator at Chess for Success.
Classroom Law Project is a non-profit organization of individuals, educators, lawyers, and civic leaders building strong communities by teaching students to become active citizens.
The Standard’s Volunteer Expo has repeat participants year after year, here’s a look at some nonprofits which continue to recruit volunteers:
Jenny Bedell-Stiles and Andy Meeks from Friends of Trees
talks with Casey Rhodes and Clark Hays.
Jenny Chu from Literary Arts
New Avenues For Youth volunteers are a hit every year because they dish out the free Ben and Jerry’s Ice Cream!
Rachel Randles from Oregon Historical Society
The Volunteers of America recruited some new volunteers!
Special Olympics Oregon has room for coaches and event volunteers.
Newspace Center for Photography promoted its multidimensional photography resource center and community hub for students, working artists, professional photographers, educators, and photo-enthusiasts of all types.
Latino Network’s Edgar Ortega
Boys & Girls Clubs of Portland Metro Area had a colorful display.
The Work for Art’s Community Fund and Arts Education Fund support more than 80 arts and culture organizations every year—encompassing dance, visual arts, music, literary arts, media arts, theater, cultural arts, and arts education.
IMPACT NW drew prospective volunteers who learned that each year over 60,000 low-income children, youth, families, seniors, and adults with disabilities participate in Impact NW’s comprehensive anti-poverty programs.
The YMCA was handing out information about programs.
People who stopped by The Q Center booth were met with a friendly smile.
National Multiple Sclerosis Society, Oregon Chapter staffers promoted their many volunteer options.
Reps from the Feral Cat Coalition of Oregon explained their work on behalf of local cats and kittens.
American Red Cross volunteer recruiters had the trademark red vests!
The mission of the Make-A-Wish Oreogn Foundation® is to grant the wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions to enrich the human experience with hope, strength and joy.
Northwest Pilot Project began in 1969 as an all volunteer agency to provide basic supports for seniors at risk of losing their ability to live independently.
Miracle Theatre Group is The Northwest’s premiere Latino arts and culture organization.
Camp Fire offers opportunities for volunteers who like to work with kids.
Bridge Meadows is a multi-generation housing community serving Oregon’s vulnerable populations; foster youth, adoptive parents and elders (55+).
Here’s a list of links to charities at the The Standard’s Volunteer Expo. Please consider donating your time, and tell them PortlandSocietyPage.com sent you!
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