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Worcester State University Special Olympics Cheerleading Program Heads to Gillette

Author: Ali Phaneuf When Special Olympics cheerleaders stepped onto the field during the last local flag football game of the season at Worcester State University, they were met with a wave of support from football players, coaches, families, and friends. After four weeks of practice, the eight athletes performed a routine that held two separate cheers and brand new skills. The dedication and hard work of three sophomore students at Worcester State University (Chanelle LaBossiere, Kelsey Houle, and Iza Julie Marques) made this program possible. “Because of the pandemic last year, we weren’t really able to get involved in…

Author: Ali Phaneuf

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Norwood Public Schools Pass the Torch to Kickstart Unified Sports Season

Author: Quinn Roddy On Thursday, October 14th, Norwood Public Schools organized a district-wide opening ceremony and inclusive walk to demonstrate their participation in Special Olympics MA’s Unified Champion Schools program. The Norwood school district recently became a Unified Partner with Special Olympics MA and they kicked off the new school year in style with an opening ceremony that included five elementary schools, one middle school, and one high school. While the students and faculty were the main participants in the ceremonies, the Norwood Police and Fire Department played an important role in making sure the torch got from school…

Author: Ali Phaneuf

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Ian Saarmann runs the Boston Marathon to inspire Special Olympics athletes

Author: Quinn Roddy Next Monday, Ian Saarmann will race in the 125th Boston Marathon after raising a whopping $17,000 for the Special Olympics Massachusetts Xtra Mile Marathon Team. As the sports and fitness director for Living Independently Forever Inc. (LIFE), Ian’s relationship with Special Olympics MA has been monumental. LIFE Inc. has three separate locations and the program supports adults with autism and learning and intellectual disabilities in their pursuit of a meaningful, healthy, independent life. Ian has been the sports and fitness director there for the better part of two decades and helps LIFE members stay active and…

Author: Ali Phaneuf

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Larry Crosman brings Special Olympics PA athlete to Boston Marathon

Author: Ali Phaneuf On October 11th Special Olympics Pennsylvania athlete Ernie Roundtree will be racing in the 125th Boston Marathon. Why? Because it’s been a lifelong dream of his. How? Because of one special game changer: retired Mansfield police Sgt. and Special Olympics Massachusetts’ Law Enforcement Torch Run (LETR) executive board member, Larry Crosman. When Larry attended the 2018 Special Olympics USA Games in Washington State, he had no idea that the experience would bring him a lifelong friend. Larry was an escort for the Flame of Hope at the USA Games when he met Ernie, and it was…

Author: Ali Phaneuf

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A PLAN to put your Mind at Ease

By: Maria McElroy, PLAN of Massachusetts & Rhode Island Every parent is concerned about what the future holds for their children. Parents of a special needs child have, what some may describe as a monumental level of concern. If you are like many parents, you have woken up in the middle of the night worrying about your child. Worrying about what will happen to them when you are no longer here. You are not alone. Hundreds of parents who have children with disabilities have these same thoughts and concerns, yet they often become so overwhelmed with the options that…

Author: Charles Hirsch

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Battle of the Keiths: New England Revolution’s Unified team takes on the Andover Stars

Author: Ali Phaneuf After a one-year hiatus amid the COVID-19 Pandemic, the New England Revolution Unified team is excited to be stepping back on the field this Saturday. But for one athlete in particular, this year is still proving to be slightly unconventional. Jimmy Keith has played for the Revs Unified team for six years, and this year is like no other for the seasoned athlete. On Saturday, September 18th the Revs Unified team will play against the Andover Stars Unified team at Gillette Stadium. And for Jimmy, this means playing against a team that is coached by his…

Author: Ali Phaneuf

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Game Changer: Athlete Carl Hanson

Author: Drew Frey Carl Hanson has been competing with Special Olympics Massachusetts for 20 years and he continues to bring overflowing enthusiasm to every event. He remembers back in 2011 discovering Special Olympics through his friends and then signing up for events because his parents encouraged him to challenge himself. Now Carl participates in Special Olympics competitions year-round, including bocce, soccer, bowling, volleyball, and track and field. Competing with the Greater Springfield teams, Carl learned to celebrate successes and overcome obstacles through sports. One of Carl’s proudest moments came at the Winter Games tournament in March of 2019. He…

Author: Ali Phaneuf

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Join Team Massachusetts In the SONA Move Challenge!

Move with Team Massachusetts! To begin their training towards Orlando 2022, Team Massachusetts will compete in the  Special Olympics North America Move Challenge! Join them on their training journey! WHAT:Special Olympics North America presents the SONA Move Challenge, an 8-week movement challenge to see how many minutes of exercise participants can complete each week. WHO: You can participate in the SONA Move Challenge as: an Individual (Special Olympics athletes only) a Traditional doubles (two Special Olympics athletes) a Unified doubles (a Special Olympics athlete and Unified partner) a Traditional team (all Special Olympics athletes) a Unified team (Special Olympics…

Author: Vick DiNatale

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Game Changer: Volunteer Linda Flynn

Linda Flynn is a longtime volunteer with Special Olympics Massachusetts. She currently leads the Pioneer Valley (PV) Green Monsters softball team as their Local Program Coordinator (and even added bocce and corn hole for the team last summer!) “I started in Special Olympics about 25 years ago when a family friend was looking for Unified partners (teammates) for their softball team. Her brother was on the team, as an athlete, and she had just taken over coaching it. I’ve played softball all my life so thought that it was a good fit. I started with attending the qualifiers session…

Author: Charles Hirsch

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3 Tips for Engaging Employees with a Corporate Social Responsibility Program, Virtually 

Corporate social responsibility (CSR) goes far beyond offering volunteer time off to support the local soup kitchen or animal shelter. While it’s important to involve employees in these opportunities, CSR means integrating your company’s mission and purpose with sustainable values, and supporting community goals in ways that connect to your company’s business. It’s an ongoing effort that requires engagement from the top down. However, it is often difficult to find the right work-life balance. It is especially hard to maintain this relationship with the COVID-19 pandemic as many volunteer activities have been made virtual. Businesses can positively impact their…

Author: Charles Hirsch

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