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The global day for 2019 Spread the World: Inclusion was Wednesday, March 6, 2019. However, our athletes, Unified Champion Schools, Young Professionals Committee, and Executive Advisory Board celebrated throughout the month.
Sayre High School created an art contest where students were asked to create a superhero with an anti-violent theme. Along with their drawing, students had to say what their superpowers were that made them an anti-violent superhero. Winners were chosen by the Unified Sports team. Hill Freedman World Academy took to the halls and collected online pledges where students agreed to include those who might need a friend or someone sitting on the sidelines. Middle Years Alternative (MYA) had students sign a banner than they hung to pledge their commitment to inclusion.
Stradley Ronon staff donned the Spread the Word: Inclusion shirt and had information on how to get involved with Special Olympics PA – Philadelphia displayed on their televisions throughout the building. One of the employees at Stradley even got their daughters school involved where teachers wore the shirts too! Montgomery McCracken’s Veterans and Individuals with Disabilities group, a subgroup of the firm’s Diversity Committee, was proud to spearhead the Spread the Word event at their office. The attorneys and staff participated in a “Jeans Day” to raise money for Special Olympics PA – Philadelphia! If they donated to the cause, they were able to wear jeans and their Spread the Word shirts! Brandywine Realty Trust employees also had a dress down day and displayed our message on the jumbo screen at Commerce Square.
Brandywine Realty Trust hosted the First Ever Philly Plunge Kickoff on Wednesday, August 8th at the Commerce Square Court Yard. Music, water ice, and beach balls were all the things necessary to cool off from the hot day where temperatures were reaching the low nineties. Brandywine Realty Trust helped us excite people for the Philadelphia Polar Plunge that will be held on November 30th at Drexel University’s Recreation Center (3301 Market Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104) between 5:00 pm – 7:00 pm. Unlike the Kickoff, the weather during the Philadelphia Polar Plunge will hopefully be a brisk day where brave souls will jump into a freezing pool and be #FreezinForAReason. The Philadelphia Polar Plunge is Philadelphia’s premiere fundraiser, where the goal is to raise funds for all of our programming as well as awareness for our athletes and programs.
PJ Brown & Her Resistance headlined the event on a stage that was centered in the courtyard. As people flowed in and out of the courtyard for lunch, Kristin Lewis, author of You Are Special, was also on-site selling her book and signing copies! Music, snacks, and books were outside and if attendees wanted to cool off, they had to look no further than Pagano’s Market & Bar who ran a drink special to support the Philadelphia Polar Plunge. In addition to the fun, Brandywine Realty Trust and Special Olympics PA – Philadelphia had raffles that attendees could win. The hot day couldn’t contain the enthusiasm of Special Olympics staff, who were there to help answer questions about the Philly Plunge and share their experiences. As the event continued, people were chatting about the plunge and ideas were popping into everyone’s minds for costumes, business wear and ways to help out Special Olympics PA – Philadelphia. The kickoff was not only a success but it reminded everyone that with all of us together that we can create a community of love and inclusion for all.
Thank you to Brandywine Realty Trust, PJ Brown & Her Resistance, Kristin Lewis, and Pagano’s Market & Bar for their support of the Philly Plunge!
The 2018 Philadelphia Spring Games was held on Saturday, April 28, 2018, at William Penn Charter School. Athletes from Philadelphia and surrounding counties competed in athletics (track & field), basketball, and tennis. To kick off the day, athlete Raymond Anderson and John Boruk welcomed the crowd during the Opening Ceremonies. Frankford High School JROTC lead by Cadet Juvian Lopez and the West Powelton Drumline lead the Parade of Athletes which welcomed Montgomery County’s Track Team, Philadelphia Track Team, Delaware County Tennis Team, Philadelphia Tennis Team; and basketball teams: Chester Alex Avengers A, Chester Alex Avengers B, Chester Alex Avengers C, Philly All-Stars, Philly Bandits, Philly Dreamers, Philly Hoops, Philly Huskies, Philly Phlash, Philly Rebels, Philly Rebounders, Philly Warriors, Philly Wildcats I and Philly Wildcats II. After all the athletes took their seats, Frankford High School’s JROTC presented the colors and Denine Aversa, the mother of a South Philadelphia athlete, sang that National Anthem. New Special Olympics PA – Philalephia Director, Chase Trimmer, and Special Olympics PA President and CEO, Matthew Aaron, then gave welcoming remarks and wished athletes the best of luck as they competed later in the day. After welcoming remarks, Athlete Leadership Chair, Teddy Angerman welcomed everyone and introduced the rest of the Philadelphia Athlete Leadership Team. Victoria Amaradio, an athlete from South Philadelphia, lead all athletes in the Athlete Oath prior to the highlight of the Ceremonies – the lighting of the cauldron.
Deputy Commissioner Dennis Wilson of the Philadelphia Police Department, Cheif Dave Duffy of the Upper Gwynedd Police Department and men, women, and Police Explorers from Philadelphia and surrounding law enforcement agencies along with PECO employees, started their day at the Philadelphia Museum of Art where the Flame of Hope started its journey for the day. The Law Enforcement Torch Run ran 6 miles from the Philadelphia Museum of Art to William Penn Charter to bring the Flame of Hope to Opening Ceremonies to light the cauldron. As the Law Enforcement Torch Run got to William Penn Charter, they joined special guest Bernard Hopkins and Philadelphia athletes for the final leg. As the Flame of Hope came down the track and light the cauldron, everyone cheered and the 41st annual Philadelphia Spring Games officially came to a start!
Athlete then headed to their respective venues on campus to compete. Throughout the day, spectators and coaches saw great competition and sportsmanship between the athletes. After competition, athlete were awarded medals and ribbons based on their order of finish.
After Opening Ceremonies, Special Olympics PA – Philadelphia hosted their first every Unified Shot-put Experience where athletes got together with VIP guests to compete in the sport of shot-put. Athletes from Philadelphia who took part in this experience included Raymond Anderson, Eddie Glover, Jackie Lutts, Teddy Angerman, Sadika Smith. Athletes from Montgomery County included Robert Decker, Chip Tamagni, and Lauren Otterbein. Partners included Philadelphia Charity Ball Board members Jay Devine, Peter Cooke, and Colleen Holt-McCauley; Executive Advisory Board members Ernie Holtzheimer, Robert Croft, and Brian Monihan; Alex McConathey, and Fire Commissioner Adam Thiel. Every participant threw the shot-put twice, with their best score counting. Scores were calculated by adding each pair’s (an athlete and a partner) top throw together. In the end, Ernie Holtzheimer and Michael won with the overall high score.
Wildcats I – 1st Place
Wildcats II – 3rd Place
To view all photos, click here.
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