Innovation in Adversity: Unforeseen Challenges, Unforeseen Opportunities.

Innovation in Adversity: Unforeseen Challenges, Unforeseen Opportunities.

When the clock counted down on New Years, no one could have anticipated what this year would bring. We have all been presented with challenges and isolation due to the COVID-19 pandemic. With that being said, these challenges created opportunities for SOAR to be creative and adapt the way we offer programs to continue supporting our participants, regardless of the circumstances.

Our Executive Director, Erin Schultz said, “When our office first closed in March because of the pandemic we heard from many participants and their families – with many of their other services being stopped or severely restricted, isolation and loneliness were setting in. They needed connection, but above all, they needed hope and it was in that moment we knew we needed to find a way to relaunch our programs.

Cassidy is one of the many SOAR participants who experienced this. When the pandemic started, Cassidy temporarily lost her job and her usual community activities were unavailable. The virtual sessions and adapted programs that SOAR quickly launched allowed her to safely engage with SOAR friends and staff. Some of her favorite adapted activities were SOAR’s Virtual 5K, Disney Trivia on Facebook Live, Baking Class Zoom and Parking Lot Bingo. Cassidy will tell you, “SOAR’s virtual activities are different, but a lot of fun!”  

People with differing abilities need social connections, support, and hope now more than ever.  Will you take this opportunity to help by donating to SOAR Fox Cities’ Annual Appeal?

Innovation in Adversity: Unforeseen Challenges, Unforeseen Opportunities.

Amazing Fund-Racer: COVID-Safe Scavenger Hunt

We are so grateful to all of the teams, sponsors, donors, and supporters who made our first-ever Amazing Fund-Racer such a success! It was a beautiful day for some socially-distanced fun, and we were so impressed by the creativity and enthusiasm that teams showed in their scavenger hunt submissions! This fast-paced, socially-distant, city-wide event raised over $5,000 for SOAR Programs that empower youth and adults with disabilities!  Thanks to the following event sponsors for their support: Meijer, Menasha, Innovative Services, Inc., Green Stem LLC, Schroeder Moving Systems, Inc., College Connectors, Relish and Roots, Sabre Lanes, and Liberty Hall! We cannot wait to host this event again next fall- hope to see you there!

Innovation in Adversity: Unforeseen Challenges, Unforeseen Opportunities.

Going for Gold!

“So what’s the difference between SOAR Special Olympics and Special Olympics Wisconsin?”

If you’ve ever asked this question, you’re not alone. We actually get it a lot! Here’s the short answer:

Special Olympics Wisconsin is essentially the governing body of all Special Olympics programs in the state. They coordinate and oversee tournaments, set regulations for the programs, and help provide structure to Special Olympics programs that are smaller, more rural, or are completely volunteer run.

Each region has it’s own programs, like SOAR, that offer sports to it’s community members. SOAR is responsible for coordinating and overseeing the athletes, teams, coaches, and other volunteers in our program, as well as fully financing the sports.

Here at SOAR we offer the third largest Special Olympics Program in the state! We have 170 athletes that participate in eight sports: Basketball, Softball, T-ball, Bowling, Bocce, Aquatics, Track and Field, and Powerlifting. Right now we are in the middle of our most popular sport, Bowling, and have 120 athletes competing!

 

“Let me win. But if I cannot win, let me be brave in the attempt.” -Special Olympian’s Oath

 

Innovation in Adversity: Unforeseen Challenges, Unforeseen Opportunities.

Golf Outing Success!

Check out the video recap of the day!

“A beautiful day to spend celebrating and raising money for a wonderful organization”

Right on Par 

Did you know this year was SOAR Fox Cities’ 28th year hosting a golf outing? Over the years this fundraiser has raised over $500,000 for the many programs SOAR provides!

This year’s outing was so much fun but had us feeling hot hot hot at Royal St. Patrick’s Golf Links with temperatures in the 90s all day. That didn’t stop 90 golfers from coming out and showing their support for SOAR! Along the course they got to stop and play hole games with our participants, including pond golf, golf pong, and a putting contest against one of our SOAR participants. The day concluded with awards and fabulous prizes, and we raised over $28,000!

Thank you to our sponsors Alta Resources, Todd Steven and Associates, Interstate Batteries, Community First Credit Union, Bergstrom, BMO Harris Bank, The Detienne Family, Outlook Group, The Family of Lincoln Robinson, Valley Vision Neenah, Tyson Foods, Jeri, Bill, and Adrienne Nelson, Sagemark Consulting, Appleton Noon Optimist Club, and SOAR Board of Directors.

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