Thank you to the Dora Hansen Charitable Trust for their $2,500 grant in support of SOAR Fox Cities’ Youth 3-12 Program!
SOAR Fox Cities Youth 3-12 program teaches social skills, builds relationships, and fosters values of acceptance, understanding, and inclusion in elementary and middle school youth with and without disabilities. This program includes Kidz Klub and Teen Stop, after school programs for elementary and middle school youth respectively, in-school Activity Days, and our summer day camp K.I.T.E. Kamp. We would like to extend our sincerest thanks to the Dora Hansen Charitable Trust for their support of this program, ensuring all children have the opportunity to build relationships, skills, and self-esteem though extra-curricular programs!
Thank you to the Cousins Subs Make It Better Foundation for their $2,500 grant in support of SOAR Fox Cities’ Special Olympics Program!
The SOAR Fox Cities’ Special Olympics Program is the 3rd largest in the state, offering eight sports to over 170 athletes! We currently offer Basketball, Softball, T-ball, Bowling, Bocce, Aquatics, Track and Field, and Powerlifting. Special Olympics is dedicated to providing our athletes with a safe and fun environment to grow in self-confidence, practice healthy living, and reaching their athletic dreams! Together with the Cousins Subs Make It Better Foundation we are ensuring people of all abilities have opportunities to live strong, active, and healthy lives. We look forward to a fantastic year of sportsmanship and growth in 2020!
Thank you to everyone who helped make this year so great! We are looking forward to even more fun in 2020!!
Click here to see a few of our favorite moments from the year.
Volunteer Spotlight: Rosemary Van Elsen
We are so grateful for all of the time and hard work Rosemary has given to SOAR over the years. Many of you may know Rosemary as she began volunteering with us at our front desk back in 2013, but she also helps out with our mailings, fundraisers, programs, and more! She has become an integral part of the team that makes everything we do at SOAR possible.
Rosemary got involved with SOAR thanks to her husband Dale, who saw a volunteer need posted in the paper. He told her about the opportunity, and after looking into the organization decided this is where she needed to be!
Her favorite part of volunteering with SOAR is meeting participants and seeing how much they enjoy the activities, saying “SOAR helps enrich lives in so many ways, it’s amazing to be a part of.”
Thanks to the generosity of an anonymous donor, we have a $10,000 match running until December 31st for our Annual Appeal!
We are over halfway to our Annual Appeal goal of $55,000, but we need to make the most of every day we have left! With your help, we can reach our goal! Now until the end of the year when you give your donation will be matched, meaning we can get to our goal twice as fast!
Dollar for Dollar match means everygift we receive is worth DOUBLE! Your gift of $100 will become $200!!
“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
It’s Back to School Season, did you know that SOAR offers programs for youth both during school and after school? Many of our youth programs include students with and without disabilities, providing safe environments that foster understanding and acceptance among all participants. Our youth programs include-
Kidz Klub: a collaborative after-school program for elementary aged kids.
Teen Stop: an after-school peer-to-peer social group for kids in middle school.
TnT: a youth group for Teens and Transitioning youth (ages 13-23) that offers educational, social, and recreational activities.
Activity Days: In-school activities brought to elementary, middle, and high school classrooms around the Fox Cities for free.
K.I.T.E. Kamp: a four-day day camp for youth ages 6-16 held each August.
For more information on our youth programs, contact Lisa McCallister, our awesome Youth Services Manager!
“Lisa does such a great job exposing our students to situations in which we can work on life skills, social skills, and executive function skills.”
-Katrina Bartell, Madison Middle School Appleton
Steven* is a young man who typically struggles with anger and bullying others. This year at K.I.T.E Kamp, however, he played games with younger campers, helped campers with more significant needs complete activities, and comforted campers that were scared to do some activities, like exploring a dump truck, by holding their hands and helping them up. When leaders told him he was doing a great job, Steven told them he was surprised he was being so nice to people, but it felt so awesome to help them. Way to go Steven!
All of our programs, including K.I.T.E. Kamp, help kids like Steven enhance skills needed to work in team settings, challenge their thinking, and build on appropriate social skills.