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SOAZ In the News

  • Special Olympics Arizona Names Jamie Heckerman President & Chief Executive Officer

    • Special Olympics Arizona –
    • Press

    The Board of Directors of Special Olympics Arizona (SOAZ), one of the leading affiliates in Special Olympics North America, is proud to announce they have appointed Jamie Heckerman as their new President & Chief Executive Officer.

    Click to view full press release

  • Special Olympics Team Arizona preps for USA Games

    Dozens of Tucson-area athletes will represent Team Arizona as part of the Special Olympics USA games in Seattle. The games take place the first week of July. At a special team-building camp in the Mogollon Rim-area of Arizona, apart from prepping for the USA games, athletes also got a special surprise by hearing from Team USA silver-medalist Lyndsey Fry (who was part of the silver-medal-winning women’s hockey team in Sochi in 2014).  News 4 Tucson’s Paul Cicala is part of the Special Olympics Support staff, and filed a report from Heber, Arizona on the special athletes’ weekend. https://kvoa.com/news/2018/07/17/team-az-at-2018-special-olympics-usa-games-in-seattle-mini-documentary/

  • Mercury to Host Special Olympics Arizona Athlete and Honorary ESPY Recipient Paige Harris Tomorrow Night

    • WNBA Phoenix Mercury –
    • Featured

    Special Olympics Arizona athlete Paige Harris was presented with an honorary ESPY at the 25th Annual ESPY Awards on ABC Wednesday night. Friday night, the three-time WNBA Champion Phoenix Mercury will…
    To read the full article, click here.

  • Valley 18-year-old Paige Harris honored with ESPY Award

    • ABC 15 –
    • Featured

    PEORIA, AZ – It’s become one of the biggest events in sports — the annual ESPY Awards.

    This year, Arizona will be well represented. Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps, Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald, and Phoenix Mercury guard Diana Taurasi are all nominees.

    But 18-year-old Paige Harris from Peoria’s Sunrise Mountain High School has already won.

    To read the full article, click here.

  • UPDATE: Johnson family organizing Special Olympics team for the far east Valley

    • Queen Creek Independent –
    • Events

    UPDATE: An organizing meeting for the QC Comets Special Olympics team has been scheduled. It will take place at…

    To read the full article, click here.

  • Bocce ball and basketball: How you can help Arizona’s Special Olympics athletes

    • KTAR.com –
    • Events

    In a first-of-its-kind event, unified teams of four will compete in nine events located throughout Westgate. Each team will consist of a Special Olympics athlete, two sponsor participants and one law enforcement officer.

    To read the full article, click here

  • Channel 3 – Celebrity Putting Challenge

    • [VIDEO] Azfamily.com –
    • Events

    Channel 3 covers the Waste Management Phx Open Celebrity Putting Challenge with Special Olympics Arizona athletes.

    Watch Video Now

  • Channel 15- Celebrity Putting Challenge

    • [VIDEO] abc15.com –
    • Events

    Channel 15 covers the Waste Management Phx Open Celebrity Putting Challenge with Special Olympics Arizona athletes.

    Watch Video Now

  • 3 AZ Special Olympics athletes headed to Austria

    • AZCentral.com –
    • Events

    Three Arizona Special Olympics athletes will be among those representing the United States in the 2017 World Games in Austria this March.

     

    To read the full article, click here.

  • The Sound of Silence: Clemson QB has special encounter in Arizona

    • TigerNet.com –
    • Events

    With just a few more days until the showdown between the Tigers and Buckeyes, the team took some time after Wednesday’s practice to meet kids from the Special Olympics of Arizona.

    To read the full article, click here.

  • Clemson Tigers Continue Preps For Fiesta Bowl

    • WSPA.com –
    • Events

    Clemson Tigers spent their second full day in Arizona Wednesday preparing for Saturday night’s Fiesta Bowl showdown against Ohio State.

     

    From questions to DeShaun Watson on whether he’s hedging on his desire to leave early to the NFL to his friendship with his counterpart Saturday, Ohio State QB J.T. Barrett, to the team taking some time out to play football with kids from the Arizona Special Olympics it was again a busy day.

     

    To read the full article and watch the video, click here

     

  • Tucson Special Olympics Athlete Stays Strong

    • tucson.com –
    • Featured

    Karrle suffered a crushed spinal cord, a broken right leg, a collapsed lung and more injuries than his parents realized until they saw his release papers after three weeks in a trauma unit. His helmet saved his life.
    Click to read the full article

  • Tempe Union Approves Teams Combining General and Special Education Athletes

    • eastvalleytribune.com –
    • Featured

    The Tempe Union High School District governing board has approved an agreement with Special Olympics of Arizona to field teams with both general education and special education athletes.
    Click to read the full article

  • Over the Edge – AZ on the Rocks 6pm Coverage

    • [Video] 12news.com –
    • Events

    AZ on the Rocks hosted a night dedicated to Special Olympics Arizona athletes and supporters to help prepare participants for the annual Over the Edge event.
    Watch Video Now

  • How to Rock it to Support SOAZ Athletes

    • 12news.com –
    • Events

    Come to AZ on the Rocks on Wednesday, November 16th from 7pm-10pm and for $10 you’ll have access to climbing, rappelling, ninja warrior and the fitness and yoga studio. You’ll also get to interact with Howler, the Phoenix Coyotes mascot, and watch him bravely free fall!
    Read Full Article

  • ‘Let it Go’ – An Athlete’s Empowering Message

    • Right This Minute –
    • Featured

    Ever since Charlotte Merrill was diagnosed with cerebral palsy, she and her family have found a loving and supportive community at Special Olympics Arizona. This special connection goes beyond sports, however, because Charlotte’s found a new passion as a motivational speaker! After years living with cerebral palsy, this inspiring kid’s wise beyond her years… and it shows in her empowering “Let it go” message to the world.

    Watch Video Now

  • Sandra Day O’Connor Golfer Amy Bockerstette Interview

    • arizonasports.com –
    • Featured

    Golf phenom Amy Bockerstette from Sandra Day O’Connor joins the AZ Preps 365 team in-studio.
    Click to listen to the interview

  • Phoenix Golfer with Down Syndrome Ready to Take on State

    • usatodayhss.com –
    • Featured

    Sandra Day O’Connor junior Amy Bockerstette earned a spot on her team to play in the state high school golf tournament.
    Click to read more

  • Special Olympics Fall Games

    • [Video] Fox 10 Phoenix –
    • Events

    It’s day one of the Special Olympic fall games and more than 1,000 athletes from across Arizona are competing in aquatics, bocce and softball.

    Click here to watch the full segment

  • The Chair: Who is on the throne? Rudy Sleiman, 10th Annual Breakfast with Champions

    • Front Doors Magazine –
    • Events

    Rudy Sleiman is profiled as the Event Chair for the 10th Annual Breakfast With Champions in Phoenix, Arizona.  Rudy is moved by everyone working togther to give back and ensures to practice this selflessness daily through giving his time and resources to Special Olympics Arizona.

    Click to read the full article

  • Can Young Adults with Intellectual Disabilities Vote?

    • Raising Special Kids Magazine –
    • Featured

    When Americans with intellectual disabilites approach the age of 18, they and their families face decisions about possible legal actions regarding their rights, including the right to vote.

    Read how Clinton Gode spearheaded this important issue.

  • Lerner and Rowe Now Special Olympics Arizona Corporate Partner

    • lernerandrowe.com –
    • Press

    The personal injury law offices of Lerner and Rowe contributed $35,000 to Special Olympics Arizona’s corporate partnership program. The law firm’s financial support will be used statewide to provide year-round opportunities for children and adults with disabilities to train for and participate in Olympic type sporting events.

    Click here to read the full press release

  • 12th Annual Bare Aspen Wine and Beer Tasting

    • Arizona Daily Sun –
    • Events

    Help raise money for Special Olympics Arizona athletes from Flagstaff, Prescott, Sedona and surrounding regions at the 12th annual Bare Aspen Wine and Beer Tasting event. There will be food prepared by John Connelly of Salsa Brava and Fat Olives, along with wine and beer tastings. The event will be held Aug. 13, from 1-5 p.m. at the Arizona Nordic Village.

    Click to read full article

  • Special Olympics Reaches Major Milestone

    • Arizona Foothills Magazine –
    • Programs

    Special Olympics International has hit a milestone of 1.2 million participants in Unified Sports—in part thanks to the Special Olympics Arizona. The athletes involved in Unified Sports are individuals with intellectual disabilities and their teammates are individuals without intellectual disabilities, also known as Unified participants.

    Click to read full article

  • Special Olympics Arizona Athlete, Emma Shores, Sings National Anthem at Peoria Spring Training Game

    • 12news.com –
    • Featured

    Emma Shores, 15, an inspirational student with Down syndrome from Liberty High School in Peoria and Special Olympics Arizona Athlete, recently had the chance to sing the national anthem at a spring training game at Peoria Sports Complex.

    Click to read article and watch her sing

  • 2016 State Basketball and Cheer Competition Feature

    • [Video] –
    • Events

    Tucson’s Fox 11 News interviews SOAZ coach and athlete to highlight the 2016 Special Olympics Arizona State Basketball & Cheer competiton. Click to view the full clip

  • A.T. Still University Magazine Dedicates Issue to Special Olympics Arizona Partnership

    • Still Magazine –
    • Featured

    ATSU goes all in for special needs – Helping the underserved is a distinguishing characteristic of the ATSU community. For years, individuals across the University, at every level, have dedicated their time and energy to helping those who need it most.

    Click to read full article online | Download Still Magazine

  • New nordic skills: Native American students find fun preparing for Special Olympics cross country skiing competition

    • Navajo-Hopi Observer –
    • Featured

    FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. – On Thursday mornings, Josiah Chavez and Cedric Yazzie, two Native American students from Sinagua Middle School can be found at the Nordic Center participating in Special Olympics cross country skiing practice, coached by Carol Sharp.

    Click to read full article

  • Why Executives From New York Came to Watch a Unified Basketball Game

    • AZCentral.com –
    • Programs

    Students at Kelllis High School know their Unified Sports program has quietly built a national reputation for their school in the western suburbs of metro Phoenix. That reputation has attracted visitors from across the United States for a pep rally and the game between Kellis’ Unified basketball team and neighboring Sunrise Mountain High School’s Unified team.
    Click to read the full article

  • Special Olympics Arizona Athletes at U.S. Capitol Hill

    • [Video] –
    • Events

    Channel 12 News highlights Special Olympics International selecting Navajo Nation Athletes to showcase their success in the Special Olympics program and how it’s affected their lives.
    Click to view the full clip

  • Unified Sports Program Highlighted in ‘Special Edition’ Agua Fria Union High School District Newsletter

    • Special Edition –
    • Programs

    The Verrado High School Unified Sports program was highlighted in the February Special Edition Newsletter for the Auga Fria Union High School District due to the outstanding progress they made with the program in 2015.
    Click to download and read the full article

  • Zero Project Chooses Special Olympics Arizona’s Unified Program as an Innovative Practice in Education

    • Programs

    Special Olympics Arizona was honored to learn on December 4, 2015 that the Unified Program had been chosen as an Innovative Practice in Education and would be included in the 2016 Zero Project Report and would be presented at the 2016 Zero Project Conference in Vienna, Austria.
    Learn more about Zero Project and SOAZ’s involvement 

  • WMPO Celebrity Putting Challenge

    • [Video] –
    • Events

    Local celebrities and buisness professionals such as Cardinal’s Head Coach Bruce Arians and Diamondback’s legend Luis Gonzales are showing their support for Special Olympics Arizona at the Waste Management Phoenix Open by pairing up with Special Olympics Athletes for a Putt Off.
    Click the links to view the full segments: Channel 3TV | Channel 12 News

  • Over the Edge News and Video Coverage

    • [Video] –
    • Events

    Click the links to view the full segments: Channel 3TV  | Fox 10 | Channel 12 News | ABC 15
    Hyperlapse – see first hand what it’s like to go Over the Edge for Special Olympics Arizona!

  • Police Ask for Support in “Over the Edge” Event

    • Events

    On Dec. 12, Sgt. Tim Klarkowski of the Surprise Police Department and many others will be participating in the 2015 “Over the Edge” event to raise funds for the Special Olympics of Arizona.
    Click here to read full article

  • ASU, Special Olympics Arizona Bowl Over Stereotypes

    • ASUNow.asu.edu –
    • Programs

    The team was formed last month when ASU’s Student Athletic Association (SAA) paired up with the Gilbert Roadrunners of Special Olympics Arizona to create a unified bowling squad made up of some of Arizona’s best Special Olympic athletes and some of the Pac-12’s finest competitors.
    Click to read full article

  • Unified Field Day – FOX 10 Video Coverage

    • [Video] –
    • Events

    Watch news coverage on the Unified Field Day event that was held on November 14, 2015 in support of Special Olypics Arizona at Desert Mountain High School.
    Click here to watch the full segment

  • 3rd Annual Fry’s Fuel of Dreams – KPNX 10 Video Coverage

    • [Video] –
    • Events

    Watch news coverage on the 3rd Annual Fry’s Fuel of Dreams LETR event that was held on October 29, 2015 in support of Special Olypics Arizona.
    Click here to watch the full segment

  • 2015 Breakfast with Champions

    • Special Olympics Arizona –
    • Featured

    Over 1,000 executives, law enforcement officers, athletes, supporters and families came together on the morning of Thursday, October 8, 2015, for the annual Breakfast with Champions event hosted by Special Olympics Arizona at the iconic Arizona Biltmore hotel.

    Click to read full article

  • Breakfast with Champions – Alan’s Video

    • [Video] YouTube.com –
    • Events

    Watch Alan’s journey from being involved in Unified Sports to acheiving his goal of walking accross the graduation stage to receive his High School diploma.
    Click to view the full video clip. 

  • Helping women to be ‘masters of their own destiny’

    • WranglerNews.com –
    • Featured

    Retired Chandler Police Chief and avid supporter of Special Olympics Arizona, Sherry Kiyler, who will deliver the keynote message at a coming Chamber of Commerce Women in Business session, asks a simple question with a perhaps not-so-simple answer: “Who Says You Can’t?”

    Click to read full article

  • Special Olympics softball team brings home some hardware

    • TucsonNewsNow.com –
    • Events

    Special Olympics Arizona softball team brings home the gold from World Games 2015!
    Click here to read full article

  • West Valley’s Vanessa Robles ready to take gold at the 2015 Special Olympics World Games

    • The Glendale Star –
    • Featured

    Benevilla, the West Valley’s premier human services nonprofit, announced that Vanessa Robles, a Benevilla Helping Partners program member for more than three years, will be leading the USA Softball Team to gold at this year’s Special Olympics World Games July 25.

    Click to read full article

  • World Games viewing parties to be held at 11 Zoyo Yogurt locations in Arizona

    • Press

    Zoyo Yogurt will be hosting viewing parties of the World Games Opening Ceremony, airing live on ESPN on July 25, 2015
    Click here to read the full press release

  • 14 Special Olympics athletes from Arizona head to World Games in California

    • AZfamily.com –
    • Events

    Channel 3 was there to send off the Special Olympics Arizona athletes heading to World Games
    Click here to read full article

  • West Valley team heads to 2015 Special Olympics World Games

    • Peoria Times –
    • Events

    Special Olympics Arizona is slotted to send some athletes and coaches to World Games next week.
    Click here to read full article

  • Tucson Special Olympics Participants Heading to World Games

    • Tucson News Now –
    • Featured

    Arizona will be well represented at the World Games next week in Los Angeles, California. In total, seven athletes from Tucson will be playing on the Special Olympics Arizona Softball Team.

    Click to read full article and watch the video

  • Special Olympics Flame Passes through Valley

    • East Valley Tribune –
    • Events

    Chris Kelly, Bank of America employee, lit the cauldron with the Flame of Hope for his son Sam, a Special Olympics Arizona athlete.
    Click here to read the full article

  • Flagstaff chef wins $16k from Food Network show, donates it all to Special Olympics

    • ABC 15 –
    • Featured

    John Conley and his son Adam talk about John’s gracious donation to Special Olympics Arizona Mountain Area and his challenge to the community.

    Click here read the article and watch the video

  • Parker & Sons Supports the Special Olympics With Their Everybody Wins Program

    • Press

    Parker and Sons talk about their Everybody Wins program where a portion of their proceeds from service calls will be donated to Special Olympics Arizona.
    Click here to read the full press release

  • Special Olympics torch comes to Arizona

    • AZCentral.com –
    • Events

    Sonja Haller from the AZ Republic interviews a Special Olympics Arizona athlete and coach that participated in URAA over the July 4th weekend.
    Click here to read the full article

  • Coyotes Defenseman, Connor Murphy, carries torch for Special Olympics Arizona

    • [Video] Arizona Coyotes TV –
    • Events

    Watch as Connor Murphy carries the torch in support of SOAZ.
    Click here to watch the full video

  • Dreams Come True for Ryan

    • Press

    Ryan, a Special Olympics Arizona athlete with Downs Syndrome, had a dream of starring in a music video and one of his favorite bands, Dare to Be Dreamers, made his dream come true.
    Click here to view full press release

  • Hastings and Hastings Lauds Special Olympics with Generous Donations

    • Press

    In an effort to encourage Special Olympics World Games, Hastings and Hastings contributes generously to the charity. The donation confirms a bond between the Special Olympics charity and Hastings and Hastings, which have both been serving Phoenix, AZ for over thirty years.
    Click to view full press release

  • Coconino High School vs. Arizona Special Olympics Softball

    • AZDailySun.com –
    • Events

    The Coconino High School softball team hosted the Arizona Special Olympics team for a scrimmage Saturday afternoon.
    Click to read full article

  • Coconino Scrimmages Arizona Special Olympics Softball Team Headed to Worlds

    • AZDailySun.com –
    • Events

    A month before it takes on teams from around the world in Los Angeles, the USA Special Olympics softball team from Arizona scrimmaged with past and present members of the Coconino Panthers’ softball team.
    Click to read full article

  • Five Rimrock residents throw, run to Special Olympics gold

    • JournalAZ.com –
    • Events

    George Werner interviews 5 athletes from the Rimrock area in their quest to both bring home the gold from Summer Games and continue to train hard for their next events.
    Click here to read full article

  • Flagstaff Man Wins On Food Network Show

    • GCMAZ –
    • Featured

    John Conley, one of Flagstaff’s own, is victorious on a Food Network television show. Conley plans to donate the money he won and is raising more money for Special Olympics of Northern Arizona.

    Click to read full article

  • Changing Lives: Chad Barnett Aims to Help Children Both Here and Abroad

    • Trendsetters Magazine –
    • Featured

    Barnett and Subway have put their heads together on a brand-wide strategy to help some of Arizona’s most talented and special children – the athletes of Special Olympics Arizona.

    Click to read full article

  • Heart of the Community – Special Olympics Arizona

    • Arizona Health and Living Online –
    • Featured

    Alison Balin Batz talks about the impact and importance of Special Olympics Arizona for individuals with intellectual disabilities across the state.

    Read full article here

  • Fry’s Registers Rounding Up for Special Olympics Arizona

    • Featured

    Special Olympics Arizona is partnering with Fry’s Food Stores through April 25th for the grocery store’s “Fry’s Round Up” campaign. Click news source to read full article: East Valley Tribune | Ahwatukee Foothills News | Your West Valley

  • Registers Rounding Up for Special Olympics Arizona

    • Press

    From March 29 – April 25 Fry’s Food Stores associates across Arizona will be encouraging grocery store patrons to round up their bills in support of Special Olympics Arizona athletes.  All proceeds will go directly back to Special Olympics Arizona’s athletes and programs.
    Click to view full press release

  • Dozens Brave Chilly Plunge for Special Olympics Arizona

    • KVOA.com Tucson –
    • Events

    Dozens were freezin’ for a reason Saturday Morning at Catalina Terrace Pool to benefit the Special Olympics Arizona.
    Click to read full article

  • NFL Players Team Up With Arizona Special Olympics

    • AZCentral.com –
    • Events

    The Pro Bowl came early for 60 Arizona Special Olympics athletes on Wednesday when they gathered at a Phoenix high school to punt, pass and kick with NFL players.
    Click to read full article

  • Selfless Service Spotlight – Special Olympics Arizona

    • Keyser Online Article –
    • Featured

    Chas Harvick, SOAZ Board Officer and Treasurer, shines a light on what Special Olympics Arizona means to him.

    Read full article here

  • NFL Hosts Day of Community Events in Celebration of Pro Bowl

    • CBS 5 AZ, KPHO.com –
    • Events

    In celebration of the 2015 Pro Bowl, the NFL will host its sixth annual NFL PLAY 60 CommunityBlitz. During the Blitz on Wednesday, Jan. 21 from 2-3 p.m., Pro Bowl players, NFL representatives and local volunteers will take part in five service projects. The NFL PLAY 60 Punt, Pass & Kick Competition – Unified Special Olympics Edition will be held at Trevor Browne High School.
    Click to read full article

  • Special Olympics Arizona 2014 Over the Edge Fundraiser

    • [Photos] –
    • Events

    Check out photos from Over the Edge fundraising event for Special Olympics Arizona at Alliance Bank Building at Cityscape in Phoenix on Saturday, Dec. 13, 2014. [Greg Herriman / Special to Tribune] 
    Click to see photos

  • Over the Edge at CityScape Phoenix

    • Eventful.com –
    • Events

    In an unconventional fundraising effort for Special Olympics Arizona, 160 thrill-seekers will rappel 27 stories in downtown Phoenix on Saturday, Dec. 13 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. This year’s event is sure to soar to new heights with supporters such as Dallas Cowboys Announcer Kevin Ray.
    Click to read full article

  • 160 People to Rappel Down CityScape in Phoenix

    • AZCentral.com –
    • Events

    Up to 160 people will rappel 27 stories down CityScape in downtown Phoenix on Saturday, Dec. 13, and you could be one of them. The event is a fundraiser for Special Olympics Arizona, and each participant pledges to raise $1,000 for the non-profit.
    Click to read full article

  • Higley Incorporates Special Olympics Arizona Programs

    • East Valley Tribune –
    • Programs

    The Higley Unified School District now has Special Olympics Arizona programs for students with and without special needs. The programs cover activities like sports, health curriculum, physical education and preschool programs implemented by educators and other staff members. The programs will continue through the 2014-15 school year.
    Click to read full article

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