Local organizers today kicked off their campaign to attract 1,500 Hudson Valley volunteers for the 2016 Special Olympics New York State, Winter Games, asking residents to help make the February event truly memorable for the athletes, coaches and spectators involved.
Taking place Feb. 19-20, the 2016 Special Olympic State Winter Games will require extensive local support to be as successful as possible, and organizers are seeking 750 local volunteers to assist in various roles. An additional 750 volunteers are needed to be “social volunteers,” filling the stands at competitions in Dutchess, Orange and Sullivan counties to cheer athletes as they compete.
“These State Winter Games will give Dutchess County and the Hudson Valley a unique opportunity to shine, showing the rest of the state how we Think Differently about our neighbors with all abilities,” said Dutchess County Executive Marc Molinaro, the Honorary Chair of the event. “This event will also give our local residents a chance to demonstrate their selfless nature, a generous spirit that makes our area so special. We hope to see a record number of residents volunteer their time to make these State Winter Games a success, giving these athletes an event they’ll never forget.”
Volunteers will assist coaches and athletes, help set up and break down venues, and distribute lunches, among other opportunities. Volunteers must be at least 13 years of age; those under 16 years old must be accompanied by an adult.
Local organizations, businesses, and scholastic teams are encouraged to sign up to volunteer as a group. For more information and to register online, please visit www.specialolympicsny.org or www.facebook.com/sonyhv, or email email@example.com.
The 2016 State Winter Games commence on February 19th with Opening Ceremonies, including a ceremonial parade of athletes, motivational speeches, local entertainment and the Law Enforcement Torch Run at the Mid-Hudson Civic Center in the City of Poughkeepsie, which will also host an Olympic Village. The Mid-Hudson Civic Center will also host Closing Ceremonies and a Victory Dance on February 20th.
Event venues include:
• Alpine Skiing – Holiday Mountain Ski Area, 99 Holiday Mountain Rd in Monticello
• Figure and Speed Skating – McCann Ice Arena, 14 Civic Center Plaza in the City of Poughkeepsie
• Floor Hockey – Stewart Air Base, 1 Maguire Way in Newburgh
• Nordic Skiing and Snowshoeing – Bowdoin Park, 85 Sheafe Road in the Town of Poughkeepsie
Special Olympics is the largest amateur sports organization in the world. With 65,665 athletes, Special Olympics New York is the largest chapter in North America and the sixth-largest chapter in the world. These Winter Games are one of three annual state games and one of more than 5,000 total competitive experiences held each year throughout New York. Special Olympics New York athletes train and compete year-round in 22 sports, the Young Athletes Program and the Motor Activities Training Program – at no cost to the athletes, their families or their caregivers.
“Hotels and venues have already donated their services to ensure the 2016 State Winter Games provide a positive weekend of competition for athletes, coaches and supporters, and I’m sure local residents will share that spirit of community,” said Kathleen Smith, co-chair of the Games’ volunteer committee. “Our community has long rallied behind worthy causes, and I’m hopeful our charitable spirit will again be on display with many countless volunteers at the 2016 State Winter Games.”
Local organizations, businesses, and scholastic teams are encouraged to sign up to volunteer as a group.
“Our area is honored to host the 2016 State Winter Games and provide athletes from around the state a world-class experience in the Hudson Valley,” said Dutchess Tourism, Inc. President and CEO Mary Kay Vrba, co-chair of the event’s Games Organizing Committee (GOC). “Part of that memorable weekend will be getting to know many members of the local community. I’m confident local residents will answer the call and volunteer to give these athletes the experience they deserve.”