Transforming the lives athletes with intellectual disabilities
Sponsored by Par Hawaii
Special Olympics Hawaii is wrapping up its 51st year of serving the community. The organization plays a vital role in transforming the lives of nearly 5,000 athletes with intellectual disabilities across the state by providing them with sports training opportunities and Olympic-style competitions throughout the year.
Special Olympics Hawaii gives athletes unique opportunities to discover their capabilities. The organization’s motto is, “Let me win. But if I cannot win, let me be brave in the attempt.”
“So often our society focuses on what those with intellectual disabilities cannot do. We look at what they can do and use sports training and competitions to help these athletes gain newfound confidence in abilities they may not know they even have,” says Tracey Bender of Special Olympics Hawaii. “We build strong athletes and people with strong character.”
Sports training is really the tool for transformation. Special Olympics Hawaii surrounds the athletes with nurturing, encouraging volunteer coaches that help athletes reach their fullest potential, both on and off the field. The organization takes great pride in seeing athletes cross the finish line and are equally as excited when they land a job, recognizing that they can be productive, contributing members who are giving back to the community.
Par Hawaii has been a great supporter of Special Olympics Hawaii for more than 25 years. In addition to providing financial support for the organization, Par Hawaii employees are committed to participating in the various events throughout the year. It holds an annual Fueling Dreams fundraiser at Hele and 76 stations, more than 100 employees take charge of the opening ceremony of the Special Olympics Summer Games, and some brave Par Hawaii employees participate in fundraisers like “Over the Edge” and the “Polar Plunge.”
Others can support the mission of Special Olympics Hawaii by making a secure online donation at sohi.org.
“It’s a great way to have a tax deduction before the end of the year,” Bender says. “And you can mark your calendar for our exciting fundraisers coming up in the new year: Tip a Cop will be March 13 – 15 and our Polar Plunge event will be on April 18.”