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SOMO Athlete Raising “Buckets of Money” for Training for Life Campus

Jared Niemeyer makes his own fundraising plan

Jared Niemeyer with SOMO bucketJared Niemeyer is a familiar face around the Special Olympics community in Missouri. He’s competed for years in a variety of sports, served as a Global Ambassador and has again been tapped to represent SOMO at USA Games to compete in flag football.
But it’s Jared’s work in his kitchen that’s been turning heads around the state.
Jared put a large jar on a table in his kitchen and has been slipping coins and bills in it every chance he gets. When his brother comes home to visit, Jared hits him up for the money jar. Other visitors to the Niemeyers’ home have learned that Jared’s not shy about introducing them to the money jar, either.
A couple of years ago, at a SOMO Leadership Conference, Jared heard a recurring theme about the SOMO Training for Life Campus, the planned training center for SOMO athletes. He heard that SOMO will need “buckets of money” to make the campus happen, so Jared improvised a money jar to get the party started, as they say.
“Having the jar in our kitchen allows Jared to talk about the campus to visitors,” said Brenda Niemeyer, Jared’s mom. “He’s getting the word out to people involved in his life.” Jared, 22, lives with his family in Kirksville and works nearby.
Inside the jar, Jared also keeps a postcard with a picture of the planned Training for Life Campus.
The Training for Life Campus
The planned SOMO Training for Life Campus will serve current and future generations of individuals with intellectual disabilities, and will be the largest such facility in scope in the United States. The 44,000-square-foot Center will be set on an 11-acre campus between Columbia and Jefferson City, and will offer year-round training opportunities for athletes, coaches and volunteers throughout Missouri. We need to raise $12.5 million to make this a reality. If you’re interested in helping to fund this project, please contact Laurie Shadoan at or (913)789-0353.
For more than 40 years, our athletes, coaches, volunteers and staff have not had their own place to call home. Staff members have worked in borrowed or donated office space, while equipment and supplies were stored elsewhere. Athletes have trained and competed wherever open gyms or fields became available. Coaches and volunteers have followed them, relentlessly dedicated – and always cheerful – to bring athletes together for physical fitness, health & wellness screenings and social camaraderie. For SOMO athletes, this will be like U.S. Olympic Committee’s training facility in Colorado Springs, Colorado.
To learn more about the Training for Life Campus, visit or contact Laurie Shadoan at or (913)789-0353.
SOMO is proud to offer donors a generous tax benefit through our participation in the Neighborhood Assistance Program (NAP). When you make an eligible gift of $2,500+ to the campaign, the NAP tax credit allows you to subtract 50% of your total contribution from state taxes owed. To see if you qualify, visit