LETR Kickoff at Ameristar Wednesday, May 29 at 8:00 a.m.
The St. Louis Route of the Law Enforcement Torch Run® for Special Olympics Missouri (SOMO), founded by the Missouri Police Chiefs Association (MPCA), will take place with a special kickoff ceremony beginning at 8:00 a.m. at Ameristar Casino Resort and Spa in St. Charles on Wednesday, May 29th. Many Chiefs of Police, as well as local dignitaries and Special Olympics Missouri athletes, will be in attendance.
The particular part of the Law Enforcement Torch Run is called the Jeff Ottenad Route in memory of Jeff Ottenad, a Special Olympics Missouri athlete and Hall of Fame inductee. Jeff was training for his first marathon when doctors discovered cancer in his leg. Although he lost his battle to cancer, his memory and legacy continues still today. His family will be in attendance again this year. Jason Ottenad, one of Jeff’s brothers, now runs in memory of Jeff.
From Ameristar, local law enforcement officers will run while carrying the Flame of Hope through the streets of their communities. The officers will make a brief stop at the O’Fallon North Shop ‘n Save store (intersection of Mexico Road and Highway K) around 11:00 a.m. before making their way to Columbia, MO for the start of the State Summer Games.
The State Summer Games will be held at the University of Missouri (Mizzou) in Columbia, May 30 – June 2. The culmination of the Torch Run – lighting of the Flame of Hope – will take place during the Opening Ceremonies on May 31 beginning at 7:30 p.m.
The Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics Missouri is an annual event. The guiding purpose of the event is to raise funds and awareness for more than 16,000 athletes who participate in the Missouri program. Special Olympics is Law Enforcement’s charity of choice, not only in Missouri, but throughout the United States and in 35 countries worldwide. More than 950 runners from 100 agencies from across the state of Missouri will participate in the 2013 Torch Run. These runners will complete 40 different routes and cover more than 1,000 miles across Missouri.
Friday, May 17, 2013 10:10:00 AM
Bayless Middle School National Junior Honor Society Supporting Special Olympics Missouri
(Pictured above: Brandon Gaffney, SOMO Employee - Ellen Coots, Christa Hessler, Shannon Flynn)
Bayless Middle School National Junior Honor Society (NJHS) raised $300 for Special Olympics Missouri.
Christa Hessler, Bayless Middle School Counselor and NJHS Adviser, tells the story of how this project came about, " The notion of disability awareness was sparked by a 6th grade student, named Alex Elmore who was doing a Boy Scout project and asked me what we do in our school for Disability Awareness. I brought the question to the NJHS kids and they ran with it. Adrijane Bobaj, Katie Burnia, Alexis Clemons, Isidora Duka, Morgan Dunnegan, Shannon Flynn, Brandon Gaffney, Lashaun Hymes, Ella Karahodzic, Nasiha Mesinovic, Immanent Nwosu, Andy Reyes, Endi Rizvic, Bida Vranjkovina and Connor Woodard are the members of NJHS who took on the project. These students created lessons about different types of disabilities and presented them to other classes to bring about disability awareness in our school.
After the students presented to the classrooms, we held morning Krispy Kreme donut sales for the whole school called "Donuts for Disabilities" and raised $300. The students decided that the money should go to Special Olympics (Missouri)."
Christa, Brandon, Shannon and Lashaun volunteered at our St. Louis Metro Area Spring Games. Christa said, "After my experience there, I am hoping that this is something we will do every year. Thank you for all that you do!"
Special Olympics Missouri would like to thank Bayless Middles School NJHS for their work, thoughts, and contribution.
Monday, May 06, 2013 1:12:00 PM
Thanks to our Athletes, Volunteers, Coaches and Sponsors for a Successful Area Spring Games
Special Olympics Missouri athletes did not let the rainy weather put a damper on their exciting day at the St. Louis Metro Area Spring Games. Approximately 350 local Special Olympics Missouri athletes competed in the 39th Annual St. Louis Metro Area Spring Games, presented by Special Olympics Missouri. The games took place on Saturday, April 27 at Westminster Christian Academy.
The day began with our Opening Ceremonies hosted by St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department Captain Jim Moran. The ceremony featured a Parade of Athletes, Torch Run featuring local law enforcement and the presentation of several awards including our 2013 Outstanding Athlete award. Following the ceremony, athletes participated in track & field and aquatics events, won prizes at Victory Village and enjoyed lunch provided by Shop ‘n Save.
The St. Louis Metro Area Spring Games are made possible by the efforts of many. More than 500 volunteers came to give their time for this event. We also wish to give a special thanks to our Presenting Sponsors: Shop ‘n Save, AEP River Operations, 92.3 WIL, Da-Com, Cummins Mid-South, Safety National, Anthem BlueCross BlueShield and Proctor & Gamble Manufacturing Plant – St. Louis and our Opening Ceremony Sponsor, Huntleigh McGehee.
Friday, May 03, 2013 9:25:00 AM
Quote for a Cause - Direct Auto Insurance
Direct Auto Insurance is partnering with Special Olympics Missouri! Have you been wondering if you could lower your car insurance? Call one of Direct's locations for a quote. Direct will make a $10 donation to Special Olympics Missouri for every quote made at locations in Missouri until May 31, 2013. They have 10 locations in Missouri. For a list of locations visit their website at www.directgeneral.com.
Wednesday, May 01, 2013 2:23:00 PM
Successful Young Athletes Program Concludes at Lindbergh High School
A Young Athletes Program wrapped up this week at Lindbergh Early Childhood Education! Special Olympics Missouri partnered with Fontbonne University students in a Sports Management class to plan and run the 6-week Young Athletes Program. University students took turns planning the weeks’ activities and leading the Young Athletes and their Lindbergh High School A+ Tutoring Buddies. Sports that were focused on included soccer, volleyball, basketball and baseball. Many Fontbonne students are also student-athletes and were able to provide their expertise to our youngest Special Olympics athletes.
Young Athletes, Buddies and students were able to enjoy beautiful weather on the last day of the program and participate in sports on the Lindbergh High School track and field. Young Athletes enjoyed running and throwing stations before playing with the parachute and tackling the obstacle course. Each Young Athlete received a t-shirt, a certificate and a ribbon for completing their first Young Athletes Program!
The inclusive Young Athletes Program is designed to strengthen physical development, increase special awareness, build skills in concept development and improve self-esteem and self confidence for children through participation in sports and socialization by providing an experience that will lead to a lifetime appreciation of physical fitness and sports.
To learn more about the Young Athletes Program, please contact St. Louis Metro Associate Area Director Aimee Loyet at 314-961-7755 or email@example.com.
Tuesday, April 09, 2013 3:55:00 PM
Athlete Spotlight: Spring 2013
Mr. Bret Taylor Hammond is our featured athlete! He is 11 years old and plays for Francis Howell Special Olympics. He competes in a variety of sports including: golf and basketball for Special Olympics, ice hockey for the Gateway Locomotives and baseball for the Sports Image Sharks at Bridgeton AA. Bret has been a SOMO athlete for 3 years. His first sport he competed in with SOMO was golf, and this year is his first time playing basketball for SOMO. Bret's goal when competing is to have fun with his friends and play hard.
Bret's Dad, Jim Hammond, is on far left. Bret Hammond is #25.
When asked what his favorite memory with SOMO is, he had two different perspectives and answers. His first answered the question as an athlete. He said, "I made a really long putt last year at the SOMO State Golf Tournament, awesome baby!" As a volunteer, he said, "Saying the opening pledge at the Polar Plunge in Lake St. Louis this year and watching everyone run into the cold water, especially Chelsea and Tony, they cracked me up."
As Bret previously mentioned, he recited the Athlete Oath - Let me win, but if I cannot win, let me be brave in the attempt - in front of all of the Lake St. Louis Plungers this past February. There were over 300 people in attendance; good thing Bret doesn’t have stage freight.
Advice Bret wants to give to other athletes is to always have fun, play hard, be nice and back up and let me shoot the ball! As it’s easy to see, Bret has quite a sense of humor. He is a joy to be around and can make anyone laugh.
Want to learn more about Bret? I thought so! Continue reading to find out what his interests are and important family facts.
Bret loves the St. Louis Blues especially David Backes, TJ Oshie, David Perron and Alex Pietrangelo. His love for St. Louis doesn’t stop with hockey; he also loves the St. Louis Rams. His favorite Rams players are James Laurinaitis and Sam Bradford. Of course, he can’t get enough of our St. Louis Cardinals! Matt Holliday, Yadi Molina, John Jay and David Freeze are his top picks. Even though Albert Pujols isn’t with the Cardinals anymore, he still enjoys watching him play for the Angels. Bret sure loves his sports, but he ended his interview by saying, "I love my mom and my dog Buddy; he is 4 years old. And my Dad, he is 108, just kidding."
Thank you for all of your answers Bret. We enjoyed getting to know you and look forward to watching you compete!
Monday, April 08, 2013 12:43:00 PM
Plunging on the Wild Side Wrap Up for Creve Coeur Lake
Every winter SOMO fans get excited about the Polar Plunge. Sometimes the weather is in the 50's with the sun shining brightly, but this year the 662 plungers at Creve Coeur Lake got a taste of what it is like to be an actual polar bear. Below are Individuals, Schools and Teams we would like to recognize:
Top Individual: Daniel Bridges - $4,000
Top School: Oakville High School
Golden Plunger Awards
Gold: St. Louis Falcons, Hawaiian
Silver: Squirrel Masters
Bronze: Clayton Police Department, Toy Story
Silver: Hazelwood Central, Ducks
Bronze: Sigma Tau, Saint Louis University, Gladiator
Most Spirited: Alpha Delta Pi, Saint Louis University
A special thanks goes out to Maryland Heights PD, Hazelwood PD, Pattonville Fire Department, Special School District, Knights of Columbus and the Boy Scouts.
Below is a picture of Oakville High School Plungers with their hard earned trophy!
Monday, March 25, 2013 2:36:00 PM
Whitfield School Opens Young Athlete Program to Community
Special Olympics Missouri is excited to offer our Young Athletes Program to any child 3- to 7-years-old hosted by Whitfield School in Creve Coeur! The Young Athletes Program is designed to strengthen physical development, increase special awareness, build skills in concept development and improve self-esteem and self confidence for children through participation in sports and socialization by providing an experience that will lead to a lifetime appreciation of physical fitness and sports. In addition, inclusion of children with and without intellectual disabilities is encouraged so every child is welcome!
The Whitfield Young Athletes Program will be held at the Whitfield School campus on Mondays, April 1-May 13 from 6:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. with students as Buddies to the Young Athletes. Buddies will provide individualized attention to the Young Athletes as they learn and grow sport-specific skills in order to have athletes ready for Special Olympics competition upon eligibility at 8-years-old.
To learn more about the Young Athletes Program or to sign up your child, please contact Aimee Loyet, Associate Area Director at 314-961-7755 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thursday, February 28, 2013 1:44:00 PM
West County Special Olympics Exhibition Basketball Game at Marquette High School
The West County Special Olympics team played a basketball game Friday, February 1 at Marquette High School. In-between the JV and Varsity game against Jefferson City High School, West County took the court! The game lasted for 10 minutes, but the memories made that night will last forever.
When asked to tell Special Olympics Missouri about the game, this is what Coach Mark Bussen had to say, "This was our fifth year of being able to play an exhibition basketball game at Marquette High. It is a real thrill for us to play before a big crowd, and our athletes definitely perform at a higher level with the large crowd cheering them on.
West County Special Olympic athlete Scott Carron is a Marquette graduate. He is well known by the students and the Marquette basketball players. Scott hit two long 3 point shots to bring the crowd and Marquette players to a standing ovation.
Scott was also honored by the JV team. They asked him to sign a boxing glove that they present to a player on their team after the game who exemplifies the fighting, winning spirit. Pretty cool that they made this gesture to include Scott on their team of winners.
Another highlight was the one handed cart wheel that Michael Owens did down the court after he made a basket.
Athlete Chris Hemman stands 6 foot 3 inches tall and could score 50 points if he so chose to do so. Instead, he continually would rebound, and spread the ball around so everyone got a chance to score. It is a concept that we utilize at every practice. Everyone gets a chance to be a star.
As I stayed for the Varsity game, I had numerous fans approach me to thank us for coming and tell me how much they look forward to seeing us perform each year. One mother became teary eyed as she said she was so touched by how everyone got a turn to shoot the ball.
Coach Shane Matzen has been our contact at Marquette and has become a big supporter of our team.In addition to the exhibition game, Shane Matzen, fellow coach Derek Hoffman, and the Varsity players put on a two hour, New Year’s day clinic for us.
Coach Matzen always says it is the absolute best way to start out the year. We agree! Our athletes look forward to it like a trip to Disney World. We greatly appreciate their financial support of our program, and we really appreciate the time and effort they put in to make it THE BEST DAY EVER!"
Thank you Coach Mark Bussen for all of your hard work and passion that you have for Special Olympics Missouri. Marquette High School has been a great supporter of Special Olympics Missouri - Thank you!
Monday, February 11, 2013 3:56:00 PM
Recap of Lake St. Louis Polar Plunge
The people of Lake St. Louis and surrounding areas were certainly taking a step on the wild side by participating in the 10th Annual Lake St. Louis Polar Plunge! On Saturday, February 2, 335 brave individuals took a dip in the freezing water of Lake Saint Louise. The shore was filled with friends and family watching the excitement! Dean Alexander, Jeff Chapple, and Jeff Cook were the 3 plungers who were recognized for plunging all 10 years! There were around 40 people celebrating their 5th year plunging. As registration started at 10:00 a.m., all sorts of clowns, donuts and cowboys came running through the doors. We even had a man riding a chicken, a mermaid with a shark(okay, the shark was actually a dog with a shark fin) and 2 sets of Charlie and The Chocolate Factory casts. One of our most popular guests was Louie from the St. Louis Blues; we want to thank him for coming out to support the event! He plunged not once but twice!
Another special thank you goes to the following:
Presenting Sponsors: Shop 'n Save and 92.3 WIL
Hosting Agencies: Lake St. Louis PD, O'Fallon PD, Wentzville PD and St. Charles County Sheriff's Department
Event Host: The Lake St. Louis Community Association
The Lake St. Louis Polar Plunge was a great success, and it would not be possible without all of the amazing plungers and the support they receive from their family, friends, co-workers and communities.
Wednesday, February 06, 2013 2:30:00 PM