On Saturday, April 9, Iowa Wesleyan's Student Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) hosted the Southeast Iowa Special Olympic Spring Games for the second year in a row. Over 180 Special Olympic athletes participated in the games from Bonaparte Harmony Schools, Burlington Midwest Magic-Adults, Burlington Schools, Eddyville EBF Rocket Power, Fairfield Adults, Fairfield Independent, Fort Madison Schools, Columbus Junction Independent, Keokuk Bridgeway, Oskaloosa Imagine the Possibilities, Oskaloosa Special Olympics, Ottumwa Bulldogs, Sigourney Keokuk Co. Adults, Sigourney Schools, and Van Buren Co. Stanford Rockets. These 15 teams came with 75 coaches and numerous supporters in the stands.
Iowa Wesleyan University got the honor to host the Spring Games after SAAC advisor, BJ Wagy, called upon the Special Olympics Iowa organization to offer assistance. Iowa Wesleyan is continuing its transition into the NCAA Division III for its athletic programs. NCAA Division III SAAC has a national partnership with Special Olympics. It only seems fitting that Iowa Wesleyan jump in to offer to host the Spring Games starting in 2015. Iowa Wesleyan's SAAC and the University plan to continue to host the Spring Games from here on out.
The Special Olympic Spring Games would not be possible without the help of volunteers. The majority of the volunteers come from Iowa Wesleyan's athletic teams. Others from the University are also involved including faculty, staff, and students. The Student Nurses Association even hosted a table at the Olympic Village this year. Other volunteers include high school and middle school students participating in Silver Cord programs from area schools, Boy's Scouts, Girl's Scouts, Winfield Lions Club, and many community members. One hundred and eighty volunteers were present for the day and over 1100 hours were served on Saturday, April 9.
Our sponsors were also a huge part of this event. Sponsorship money goes toward buying new equipment for the games, volunteer t-shirts, programs, and signage. Our platinum sponsors this year were Iowa Wesleyan Student Athlete Advisory Committee, Southeast Iowa area Hy-Vees, KILJ Radio Station, and Walmart Logistics. Our gold sponsor was Portable Playlist DJ. Our Silver sponsor was Batey Lumbar Limited. Our bronze level sponsors were Northwest Restorations Company, Hearth and Home Technologies, Brown's Shoe Fit,
DeLeon Art Studio, US Bank, Tahiti Graffiti, Wayland State Bank, Madd Science Print Lab, and Richard & Elizabeth Garrels. Our participation level sponsor was Midwest Old Threshers.
Thank you to everyone that helped make the Southeast Iowa Special Olympic Spring Games possible. We hope to see you again next year! For information about next year's event, please contact BJ Wagy at firstname.lastname@example.org.
STORY COURTESY OF IOWA WESLEYAN UNIVERSITY SPORTS INFORMATION OFFICE