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The 2018 TD Campaign marked the 10th anniversary of a partnership between TD Bank and Special Olympics. TD Bank set a goal of raising $1,000,000 for Special Olympics programs throughout their footprint on the east coast of the United States from Maine to Florida. The six-week campaign ran from Monday, May 14th to Friday, June 22nd. During the campaign, TD asks members of their community to help support Special Olympics programs and this year continued their trading card tradition. Philadelphia was lucky to have an athlete, Michael Younkers, featured on one of these cards.
During the campaign, Philadelphia athletes visited the twenty-two branches across the Philadelphia region and meet employees, took tours, worked the counters, and interacted with customers. Our athletes loved sharing their triumphs and experiences with everyone and the TD employees loved getting to know our athletes and hanging out with them in return.
To cap off the campaign, the Philadelphia commercial teams hosted Philadelphia athletes at their offices for a meet and greet. Since commercial teams typically don’t get athlete visits, this was a special treat for them. Athletes and TD employees alike got together for lunch where TD employees learned more about Special Olympics and our mission and local program. After learning about Special Olympics, TD employees got to mix and mingle with our athletes to learn more about them, their experiences, and what makes them who they are.
When all was said and done, TD finished strong and surpassed their $1,000,000 goal.
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.
THE GISH ROCKFORD FAMILY
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The 2017 TD Campaign is coming! Beginning Monday, May 15, 2017, TD Bank launches their ninth Special Olympics Campaign! Again, they have set their sites on raising $1,000,000 across their footprint for Special Olympics programs across the East Coast. Since TD Bank loves seeing our athletes, they will help all Special Olympics Programs across the East Coast to Celebrate their Champions.
Throughout the campaign, Special Olympics PA, Philadelphia will be visiting the 23 stores that reside in Philadelphia County. Most of these visits will occur on Saturday, June 10th between 10:00 am and 12:00 pm – one week after our athletes get back from Summer Games at Penn State University! Make sure you stop by to join in the celebration!
Because of the huge success of the trading cards introduced during last year’s campaign, TD Bank has issued a new set of Trading Cards. This year, the four athletes representing Pennsylvania in these packs are from Philadelphia! Make sure you stop by your local TD Bank to make a $5 donation to receive a pack of trading cards – try to collect all 50!
Join the TD Bank and Special Olympics conversation by using #CelebratingChampions when talking about the campaign. Throughout the month and a half campaign – we will see many of our Champions Celebrated! Stay tuned for a recap and photos from all of our branch visits!
Between May 21st and June 22nd the 2016 TD Tour took place. Twelve Philadelphia athletes toured the twenty-two TD bank branches in Philadelphia as well as visited corporate TD in Center City. The TD Tour is when Special Olympics athletes visit various TD Banks to thank them for their support and sponsorship throughout the year. The athletes who participated in the 2016 TD Tour are Megan Murphy, Cory Jenkins, Ryan Bogan, Daniel Amrik, Sharon Quarles, Ian Capacio, Allison “Allie” Rutizer, Craig Lawson, Joseph Yerkes, Lisa Barber, Tyreek Perkins and Adrienna Nieves.
These athletes had the opportunity to go behind the scenes of almost every TD bank they visited and see things the public cannot see. They were given the royal treatment and they could not contain their excitement. Athletes were able to talk to customers through the drive through window using a microphone, see where TD’s clients’ valuables are kept in the vault, learn what tellers do on a daily basis, assist tellers with deposits, withdrawals and other transactions, and some even got “locked” in the vault!
Each bank was extremely welcoming to our athletes providing snacks and small TD Bank themed items. Our Philadelphia athletes had a lot of fun getting to know our new TD friends and touring where they work! The smiles on their faces were contagious and the athletes had every TD worker laughing and smiling. Thank you to all of the TD Banks who hosted us and we cannot wait for next year!
Matt Beckman Named Athlete of the Week at TD Bank! Each week, TD Bank selects an athlete to feature and this week it’s one of our Philadelphia athletes!
Matt has has been a Special Olympics athlete for most of his life. He started when he was eight years old. Every year, his goal is to qualify for that year’s big tournament. Matt has attended Special Olympics Pennsylvania’s Fall Festival for soccer held each November at Villanova University for eight consecutive years. This year, he attended the parade held in Center City Philadelphia after the Villanova Wildcats won the NCCA Men’s Basketball National Championship. During the parade, Matt got a shout-out from Ryan Arcidiacono who yelled from the top of the bus, “Hey guys, look! That’s my friend Matt. Hey Matt!” and all the players waved and yelled, “Hey Matt, thanks, buddy!” How cool is that? Matt met Ryan two years ago at the 2014 Fall Festival when Ryan autographed one of his Villanova basketball practice jerseys and gave it to him.
Matt’s father, Walt, has been his basketball and soccer coach since he was four years old when he began playing outdoor and indoor soccer on a City of Philadelphia championship Club team. Every year, Matt and his team travel to East Stroudsburg University for the Special Olympics Eastern Fall Sectional. Leading up to the event, Matt always has one question―Will Uncle Tim, Aunt Annette, Timmy and Sean be there to cheer me and my friends on at the soccer field? And the answer is, of course!
When competing as part of the Philadelphia (2008‒2012, 2015) and Bucks County (2013-2014) Special Olympics squads, Matt has won a rainbow of ribbons and medals including, of course, a gold in soccer. He participated in the Summer Games held in June at Penn State for Basketball in 2012 with Philadelphia County, and is excited to be going back to Penn State again this June as his Philadelphia County basketball team has once again qualified.
In addition to his many years with Special Olympics, Matt is a well-known member of the Athletes Helping Athletes (AHA) Honorary Captain program in Bucks, Montgomery and Philadelphia counties. Through this program, Matt has met hundreds of high school and college students, young men and women, athletes and scholars―all who volunteer their time, attention, support to promoting respect and inclusion for young people with challenges. The impact Matt has had on the volunteers who are part of this program has no measure, and no equal. He stays in contact with a number of former high school AHA volunteers who have continued playing sports in college, and who often invite Matt to attend their football, basketball and baseball games. He and his friends have inspired more than a few students to consider the special needs community as a career path. Matt also sings with the Autism Cares Foundation Glee club, which stages twice-a-year concerts for family and friends, and has begun performing for area n
The thing that makes Matt so very special is he is always ready to meet, greet, and participate in any social situation – he is eager to introduce his new friends to his old friends! He always has a big smile on his face and is ready to go – constantly asking where’s the game, what time does the bus leave and shouting words of encouragement to his teammates such as good luck, guys, I know you can do it, and make me proud. Everyday is paradise as he lives his life in a larger-than-life fashion.
Matt’s family is extremely proud of him!
The 2016 TD Tour is Approaching! We are looking forward to visiting our twenty-two Philadelphia TD Bank Branches! We love talking and getting to know TD Employees and getting tours of the different branches and sometimes even helping customers out with their transactions!
Between Monday, May 16, 2016 and Friday, June 24th, stop by your local TD Bank to support the Special Olympics movement! For a $5 (or more) donation to Special Olympics, you will receive your choice of the “Play Unified. Live Unified” wristband OR *new this year*, a set of TD Bank’s new “2016 Special Olympics Athlete Trading Cards” at select locations! This year, TD Bank has partnered with Special Olympics to create cards featuring athletes from Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Vermont, Virginia, and Washington D.C.! Each card includes an action shot of the athlete on the front and a bio and more information on a program Special Olympics offers. Special Olympics Philadelphia is very excited to have four of our athletes featured: #10 is Allie Rutizer, #21 is Dadly Thenor, #28 is Ian Capacio, and #35 is Sharon Quarles.
Between June 18th and June 23rd, seven Philadelphia athletes toured the twenty-two went on the 2015 TD Tour. The TD Tour is when Special Olympics athletes visit various TD Banks to thank them for their support and sponsorship throughout the year. The athletes who participated in the 2015 TD Tour are Ian Capacio, Kelly Dluzniewski, Stan Dluzniewski, Derrick Jackson, Jackie Lutts, John Mitchell, Eugene Riley.
These athletes had the opportunity to go behind the scenes of a bank and see tellers operate, say hello to customers at the drive through, see where TD’s clients’ valuables are kept, and some even tried their hand at bank telling! Our Philadelphia athletes had a lot of fun getting to know our new TD friends and touring where they work. Thank you to all of the TD Banks who hosted us and we can’t wait for next year!
On Friday, May 30, 2014, Special Olympics Pennsylvania – Philadelphia, the School District of Philadelphia, and the Public Coalition of Charter Schools came together for the 2nd Annual Unified Soccer Tournament to celebrate the culmination of this year’s Unified elective course.
With over 200 athletes and partners in attendance, along with incredible volunteers from TD Bank, Finish Line, and Thomas Edison High School among MANY others, the Unified Soccer Championship was a complete success. Special guests included Superintendent Dr. William Hite, several local councilmen and dignitaries, and our Ceremonial emcees, Jennifer Lewis-Hall and Zach Lashway from PHL17. Director of the Philadelphia Program, Barbara Chavous, and Special Olympics Pennsylvania CEO, Matthew Aaron, both spoke to the crowd and expressed the excitement and joy that this initiative brings to Special Olympics. If the sheer enthusiasm of those in attendance was not enough, 15 computers were donated between the participating schools on behalf of a partnership between Special Olympics PA – Philadelphia and Team Children.
Students from 15 Philadelphia schools played and supported one another as athletes both with and without intellectual disabilities took the field, together. The day was filled with happiness as spectators and participants were able to cheer on teams with SOPA Philly thunder sticks, handcrafted signs, and even let out some additional energy by attending Olympic Town with guest vendors like the Philadelphia Union and PHL17! The success of the day was confirmed when awards and praise were given to the participating schools and students who all roared at the recognition of their accomplishments. Although only one team walked away with the gold, every athlete and partner walked away from the 2nd Annual Unified Soccer Championship as a winner.
Special Olympics Unified Sports® is an inclusive sports program that puts athletes with and without intellectual disabilities on the same team. This Unified Soccer elective course includes a curriculum with youth leadership components, anti-bullying elements, and soccer training and competition. The course provides greater access to sports for all students, with and without disabilities.
The 2014 TD Bank Campaign for Special Olympics is approaching the home stretch here in Philadelphia. With 22 branches and countless staff working hard to raise money for our Philadelphia Program, the numbers are looking promising and encouraging for a strong finish!
The TD Bank Fundraising Campaign for Special Olympics runs until May 4th, 2014, and was designed to raise support for Special Olympics. The fundraiser allows TD Bank Employees, Customers, friends, and family to support their goal of raising over $1 million for Special Olympics in the states they operate in!
To raise funds, TD Bank is offering wristbands with a minimum donation of $5 at any of their 1300+ TD Bank locations. In addition, customers can bring in loose change, count it at the Penny Arcade, and donate all or part of their Penny Arcade total to the Special Olympics. TD Bank will waive the fee for non-Customers if they too wish to donate! Of course, Customers and Employees can also make a donation at any TD Bank Store; this can be done by check or cash.
Be sure to visit your local TD Bank branch to get your wristband and to help support Special Olympics Pennsylvania- Philadelphia!