Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Huntingdon Rejoins the SOPA Family

Huntingdon County is back!

Following a several year absence, the Huntingdon County program is now back and ready to serve Special Olympics athletes. Bocce will be the program’s primary sport as they begin their reintroduction into the community and gear up for practice on August 6th with two dozen athletes and six trained coaches. Donations and/or discounted items from the Sherry J. Leonard Memorial, Your Building Center of Huntingdon, and Shapiro Flooring of Mount Union have made the purchase of two bocce courts possible. And with all of the recent buzz and excitement, the program is sure to expand exponentially.

Getting the program back onto its feet took the dedication of an amazing management team made up of individuals from three local programs, Blair, Huntingdon, and Mifflin counties, under the leadership of Co-Managers Cory Sisto and Michele DeVecchis. Jim Wenner, a SOPA board member, Sheetz, Inc. executive and Huntingdon County resident, has also been pivotal in reinitiating the program by encouraging four of his Sheetz employees to join the management team. Additionally, the program’s reestablishment has been a prime focus for Special Olympics Pennsylvania (SOPA) President and CEO Matt Aaron and SOPA Sr. Field Director (Central) Rich Lewis.

Huntingdon County has been busy hosting demonstrations and received the support of Sheetz to provide food for their participants. They have also organized their own sports programs at the local level. As the program makes its comeback, fundraising is of course at the forefront of their efforts.

The SOPA community is happy to have this part of its family back, and they are off to a great start! Huntingdon County is looking for athletes, coaches, and volunteers, so please get involved if you live in the Huntingdon County area. To learn more about volunteer opportunities or ways to give, email huntingdonolympics@gmail.com .


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