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‘Unified sports’ brings students together

First-year teacher John Breault, 22, a Dartmouth High graduate, has been volunteering with the school’s Special Olympics summer program since he was in the fifth grade. He said it was the summer track and field games at Special Olympics that brought forth the idea of “unified sports.” “At Dartmouth High, unified sports is just starting to bud. We’re trying to grow,” said Breault. Unified sports takes students from the general population and students from the special education program and joins them together on the same sports team. The unified track program was a big hit last spring, so the…

Author: Special Olympics Massachusetts

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“Volunteers are the Backbone”

By: Matt Millett Hi, my name is Matthew Millett and I’m a Special Olympics Massachusetts (SOMA) athlete. I participate with Seven Hills and Shrewsbury local programs and have been involved with SOMA for 17 years. I’m also on the Board of Directors for SOMA and have volunteered for 5 years at Over the Edge, a fundraising event. SOMA has changed my life over these past 17 years by allowing me to come out of my shell. When I first started, I was a shy person who just graduated high school, but now 17 years later I can talk to…

Author: Special Olympics Massachusetts

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Unified Sports: Building a Stronger Community

By: Samantha Zeno, Minnechaug Regional high School My name is Sam Zeno and this is my second year being involved with unified sports. For the past two years I have been lucky enough to participate in the Special Olympics/ MASC recreational bocce tournament as well as the Polar Plunge event. I learned about these fun events through Student Council and I am so grateful to be able to participate in them. There is no community as strong as that created by unified sports. It is filled with friendship, acceptance, love, and spirit. I’ve learned the significance of these qualities, as well…

Author: Special Olympics Massachusetts

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Volunteer Spotlight: Christian Santiago

Christian Santiago is a volunteer photographer who travels throughout the state to take pictures at SOMA events. Christian donates his time, expertise, and equipment to capture the many special moments of SOMA and shares his pictures with the SOMA community on our Smug Mug page: “Last year I found out that one of my nephews has a special condition which causes him seizures, speech impairment, and prevents him from having full mobility. One of my best friends also just had a son who was diagnosed with Down Syndrome. I wanted to help, in one way or another. I wanted…

Author: Special Olympics Massachusetts

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Law Enforcement Spotlight: Officer Kristine Crosman

By: Theresa Gaffney   125 cities, 13 days, 1 flame of hope.  Officer Kristine Crosman of the North Attleboro Police Department had the honor of representing Massachusetts in the Final Leg of the Law Enforcement Torch Run (LETR) at this year’s Special Olympics World Games in L.A. On May 26, the Flame of Hope began its journey across America in the first ever Unified Relay.  Upon reaching California, the flame was passed to the LETR Final Leg Team.  For 13 days they carried the torch all over the state of California to honor the hope, opportunity, and community that…

Author: Special Olympics Massachusetts

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Parrot Heads – A Special Olympics Tradition!

For the members of the Parrot Head Club of Eastern Massachusetts [PHCOEM], each October is marked by a trip to the Cape. Not to avoid crowds at the beach and drive freely back and forth over the Bourne Bridge, club members make the journey to volunteer at the annual Special Olympics Massachusetts Senior Sports Classic. For anyone who doesn’t know, a “Parrot Head” is a fan of and devotee to the music and lifestyle of Jimmy Buffett. Caribbean themed tunes rise above the sizzle of burgers and dogs on the grill as the Parrot Heads prepare food for the…

Author: Special Olympics Massachusetts

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Law Enforcement Spotlight: Rick Pierce

By: Theresa Gaffney Retired Attleboro Police Chief Rick Pierce first got involved with Special Olympics in 1992, when he was part of the first group of officers to attend the Attleboro School Day Games.  He is now the co-director of the Law Enforcement Torch Run (LETR) and has attended Attleboro School Day Games every year since. Pierce had no idea when he agreed to do the School Day Games that he was signing on to what would become one of his greatest passions.  “I had heard of [the School Day Games] before, but this was the first time any…

Author: Special Olympics Massachusetts

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Fenway Park Batting Practice Contest Winners

Athlete Winner: Danny Williamson My name is Danny Williamson and to me one of the best things about my experience with Special Olympics is the friendships I’ve made and the respect I’ve gotten since I joined. I’ve made friends with athletes and coaches all around the country. Through Special Olympics I’ve earned the respect and support of my community, family, friends and fellow athletes through my efforts as a teammate and competitor in many sports. Although I stutter, I have gained enough confidence in myself to recite the Athlete’s Oath in front of thousands at Opening Ceremonies in Harvard….

Author: Special Olympics Massachusetts

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Coast Guard Chiefs Host 27th Annual Special Olympics

COAST GUARD CHIEFS HOST 27th Annual Special Olympics – presented by Habilitation Assistance Corporation By Mike Camire, USCG Ret. On Friday, September 18th, the Coast Guard Chief Petty Officer’s Association (CPOA, Cape Cod Chapter) hosted the 27th Annual Special Olympics event at the base gym on Connery Ave. Supported by over 125 volunteers and led by event coordinator, Senior Chief Chris “Chip” Melleby, the Chiefs and volunteers welcomed the Special Olympics athletes into the gym. Programs from Plymouth, Upper Cape, Braintree and South Yarmouth competed in a variety of events.  The Olympians marched into the gym as the crowd roared…

Author: Special Olympics Massachusetts

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Eunice Kennedy Shriver Day 2015

In Honor of Eunice Kennedy Shriver Day, we are proud to share a thesis paper written on Mrs. Shriver. Eunice Kennedy Shriver By Julia Keith Just 50 years ago, people born with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (IDD) were perceived as incapable of learning or contributing to society and were often treated as outcasts. In the early 1960’s, a woman with a vision created the Special Olympics, changing the lives of the mentally disabled and their families forever. This visionary was Eunice Kennedy Shriver. EKS believed that if she created an arena for the mentally disabled to engage in athletics,…

Author: Special Olympics Massachusetts

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