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On Thursday, September 20th, several of the finest singers from Philadelphia and New York City graced the stage at L’Etage for “Heart & Music,” a musical cabaret benefiting Special Olympics PA – Philadelphia (SOPA Philly). This production was organized by Young Professionals Committee member Allie Steele and produced by Nightcap Cabaret. The evening included songs from various musical theatre and pop music backgrounds. Every performance reflected on the theme of “Joy, Inclusion, and Overcoming Obstacles.” The goal of the evening was to raise money for SOPA Philly but to also raise awareness of the similarities between music and sports, and their ability to unify their participants.
In addition to the performers’ incredible voices, each performer shared their own stories of feeling marginalized, excluded, or challenged, and how music or theatre helped them the way that Special Olympics helps its athletes. Each song specifically showcased a different aspect of the theme and helped to bring a new awareness of our shared humanity to the audience.
The performers for “Heart & Music” included Sarah DeNight, Peter Lam, Kat Lemon, Chris Smith, Allie Steele, and Tavon Whitener, accompanied on the piano by Wesley Stohler. The evening’s ticket sales and donations totaled over $800, and the recording of the event can be found on YouTube at the following link: “Heart & Music” Cabaret Recording. Thank you to all who contributed to this magical evening!
On Friday, September 7th, the Young Professionals Committee hosted an event to get Jumpin back into the Fall Season. Young Professionals, athletes, and family and friends met at SkyZone Philadelphia for a night of fun to get the school year and fall sports season started. Everyone enjoyed an hour of jumping on the trampolines, playing dodgeball, and trying out the Ninja Warrior course. After jumping around, everyone took a breather while hanging out in the party room to enjoy some hot pizza and refreshing drinks.
Thank you to everyone who came out and we’ll see you at our next social!
On Saturday, October 14th, the Young Professionals Committee (YPC) hosted a 30-minute yoga class after a Special Olympics PA- Philadelphia volleyball practice in the first of their new “Yoga After Practice” series! Registered yoga teacher, Chelsea DiMascio of Media, PA led the athletes through some helpful stretches and poses at the Cecil B. Moore recreation center in Philadelphia. DiMascio teaches at Ridley Sports Club every Thursday and some Saturdays. DiMascio started the class by explaining the benefits of yoga, specifically how it is very important to stretch before and after exercising. She also explained that yoga can be a very beneficial relaxation tool, and that is also great for your posture. DiMascio then started the movement portion of the class, where she demonstrated a variety of standing and sitting poses along the way. The class flowed seamlessly, and each athlete did an awesome job with each pose. “Puppy pose,” “tree pose,” and some great leg stretches were among the favorites. The flexibility in the room was quite impressive! After class, DiMascio opened up the floor so the athletes could ask questions, and one of them was, “when are you coming back to do yoga with us again?” The athletes’ feedback was that it was a very relaxing class, and that they will do many of the stretches on their own going forward. We ended with a group photo. Overall, it was a very successful YPC event that we hope to do again many times in the future!
Special Olympics PA – Philadelphia’s Young Professionals Committee (YPC) kicked off the fall season with a Fall Networking Happy Hour at the Plough and the Stars (2nd and Chestnut) in Philadelphia’s Old City on Tuesday, September 26th. YPC members, along with friends and family of Special Olympics PA – Philadelphia enjoyed a selection of domestic beers and well drinks, as well as inspiring conversation, on a beautiful Tuesday evening. Attendees also had the opportunity to meet multi-sport athlete, Lisa Barbour, from the Northeast Philadelphia area. Topics of conversation included: Fall Fest at Villanova University, plans for the Philadelphia Plunge in December, and why and how attendees have become involved in the Special Olympics PA!
Rounding out the evening was a series of raffles including a gift bag complete with Special Olympics swag, a gift certificate donated by The Plough and the Stars, and an Amazon gift card donated by TMNA Services, LLC! Our three lucky winners were Emily, Lisa, and Paige – congratulations, ladies! The event was a resounding success with the room abuzz with conversation and connections. The Young Professionals Committee and Philadelphia Special Olympics has a lot of momentum heading into the fall and winter seasons and look forward to continued success!
SOPA Philly’s Young Professionals Committee will host their 2nd Annual YPC Fundraiser for SOPA Philly. They will host a Live Auction and Fundraising event for Special Olympics Philadelphia in partnership with Varga Bar! Admission will be $10 for which you receive one beer, one raffle ticket for our door prizes and an auction paddle to participate in the bidding for some of our larger items. Be sure to come out and support our Young Professionals Committee and all the work they do to help support our program!
Funds raised will benefit the nearly 2,000 athletes in the Philadelphia area, as well as help welcome new athletes to the cause. The ultimate goal of Special Olympics is to use stories of athletes’ achievements, skills and challenges to educate, engage and ultimately change attitudes toward this population of individuals in Philly and around the world and your contributions help to further this cause.
Sneak peak of some of the items up for bid: