- January 29, 2016
Did you know that New York is home to the largest Special Olympics program in the United States? In fact, not only is it the largest in the nation, Special Olympics New York, or SONY, is one of the largest in the world. We can’t help but be incredibly proud of that, and that’s why our law firm is sponsoring this year’s winter games to be held right here in our very own Dutchess
Why sponsor the Special Olympics?
Let us tell you a little more about this wonderful program we are so proud to sponsor. Special Olympics was founded in 1968 by Eunice Kennedy Shriver, and the very next year, in 1969, Dorothy Buehring Phillips founded New York’s program known as SONY.
Special Olympics supports children and adults who have intellectual disabilities by providing them with year-round sports training and athletic, Olympic-style competition. Children as young as six years old can participate, and for those who are younger, there’s the Special Olympics Young Athletes program for children ages two through seven.
This program trains and prepares participants for the games at no charge and thereby allows many people who are intellectually disadvantaged to have the same opportunities for physical development as everyone else. It provides them with an environment where they can feel safe to challenge themselves physically, and in doing so, they develop teamwork skills and lifelong friendships.
The Special Olympics is a non-profit organization, and it never charges its athletes, their families, or their caregivers. That is where the community comes in. It is our part as community members to make such an experience possible. By donating our time and money, we provide participants with the opportunity to realize their full potential, physically and emotionally.
Interested in supporting the event?
You don’t have to donate money to support this wonderful program. By simply going out to cheer on the athletes on game day, you will help to give them the “big-league experience” they deserve, as Ms. Vrba puts it. Ms. Vrba is the Co-Chair of the Games Organizing Committee for the 2016 State Winter Games.
We encourage everyone to show up to the competition, even if it’s just for one event. The athletes have trained and prepared with such enthusiasm and dedication—now they need our support to see them across the finish line! Our communities have been incredibly generous in their volunteer efforts, but the program is still in need of those who will Volunteer to Cheer! For more information or to sign up, visit http://specialolympics-ny.org/volunteers/.
The 2016 Special Olympics New York State Winter Games will be held in Dutchess, Orange, and Sullivan counties for the first time ever on February 19–21. The games will commence with the Opening Ceremonies, which will include a parade of the athletes as well as the Law Enforcement Torch Run. The Opening Ceremonies, as well as the Closing Ceremonies and Victory Dance on February 20, will be held at the Mid-Hudson Civic Center in Poughkeepsie.
There are four great cheering options for you to choose from—or go to them all! Here are the different venues:
Alpine Skiing: Holiday Mountain Ski Area, 99 Holiday Mountain Road in Monticello
Figure Skating: McCann Ice Arena, 14 Civic Center Plaza in the City of Poughkeepsie
Cross Country Skiing and Snowshoeing: Bowdoin Park, 85 Sheafe Road in the Town of Poughkeepsie
Floor Hockey: Stewart Air National Guard Base, 1 Maguire Way in Newburgh
Other Ways We Give Back to Our Community
There are many places in which our community—local and global—needs support and philanthropy from those who are able to give it. Supporting the needs of those with intellectual disabilities by sponsoring the Special Olympics New York is just one of those places where we see that we can help. At Stenger, Roberts, Davis & Diamond, LLP, we also see a need to support aspiring students to pursue a higher education and thereby open their personal and professional lives to so many more opportunities. That is why, for the first time, we are offering a $1,000 scholarship to one high school or college student in the Hudson Valley Region of New York.
If you are a student, we invite you to read more about this scholarship and apply today if you meet the requirements. If you know a student who is in need, please direct them to our scholarship page.
Applications are due May 31, 2016.