Sunday, February 3, 2019

Special Olympics PA Has Launched A New Website!

Special Olympics Pennsylvania (SOPA) is pleased to announce the launch of our new website, designed with a fresh new look and user-friendly navigation that creates an engaging and intuitive online experience.

The new website emphasizes ease of use for coaches, athletes, volunteers and supporters within the various communities throughout Pennsylvania. Additionally, the site was redeveloped to be fully responsive giving users a consistent viewing experience across all of their devices, including mobile, tablet, and desktop.

Through the new site, users are be able to access our social media networks, watch inspirational videos, view photos, and gain information about our 55 statewide city/county programs. The new design also offers users convenient homepage access to the many ways that they can become involved within the movement, our latest organizational news stories, and volunteer resources. A custom event calendar was also designed for people to stay informed and ultimately participate in upcoming events.
While our mission is to provide sports training and competition to individuals with intellectual disabilities, we also work off the playing field to enrich the lives of nearly 20,000 athletes, their families and their communities. The new site will help to amplify the impact of our programmatic work in sports, health, and youth and school engagement. It will also urge visitors to make unity, tolerance and respect part of their life’s mission by choosing to include persons with intellectual disabilities in their daily lives and by joining our inclusion revolution.

Visit our website at, follow us on social media, and sign up for our e-newsletter to receive the latest in athlete accomplishments, exciting events, and captivating competitions. 

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Warren County Athletes Compete & Perform Community Service

After weeks of practice, on Saturday, July 29, 2017 Special Olympics Pennsylvania’s Warren County golf program held their competition at the Conewango Valley Country Club with athletes competing against each other in golf skills.

Pictured Above from left to right standing in the back are: Arthur Windham-2nd place, Mike Gray-2nd place, Norm Kightlinger-1st place, and Kyle Fortman-2nd place. Seated are: Nicole Huya-1st place, Julie Gregg-1st place, Brenda Huya-2nd place, Francis Molinaro-1st place and Shawn Albaugh-1st place. Missing from the photo is Cindy Zaffino.

More recently, Warren County athletes volunteered and helped to distribute food for the Second Harvest Food Bank in Tidioute, PA. Pictured from left to right are athletes: Kyle Fortman, Cindy Zaffino, Nicole Huya and Mike Gray. 

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Northumberland Snyder’s 12th Annual Invitational Swim Meet

Special Olympics Pennsylvania - Northumberland Snyder hosted its 12th annual invitational swim meet on Saturday, May 20th at the Shamokin Area High School.  Swimmers from the Centre, Columbia-Montour, Lycoming, Schuylkill and Union county programs attended.  The co-master of ceremonies for the opening ceremony was Jacob Carey.  Jesse Kissinger and Abby Menko sang the National Anthem.

Congratulations to all who participated!

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Warren County Program’s Athlete Leadership Team Makes a Difference

Warren County’s Athlete Leadership Team received an award and was recognized by the Warren County Commissioners during a meeting at the courthouse for cleaning the public bike/hike trail in the community for the past 3 years.

Additionally, at the Christmas Dance in December 2016, the athlete leadership team asked program members to donate food items for the local church’s food pantry.  There was a great turn out of food that went toward helping local families in need.  

Friday, March 31, 2017

A Chilly Philly Leprechaun Run Warms Hearts

A Chilly Leprechaun Run Warms Hearts of Special Olympics Pennsylvania Philadelphia athletes and participants. The 2017 Leprechaun Run presented by TMNA Services was held on Saturday, March 11th at MLK Drive starting by the Philadelphia Museum of Art. As runners arrived, the temperature was already a chilly 20 degrees. The cold weather didn’t stop over 750 participants from coming out to partake in this St. Patrick’s Day tradition.

The program before the race was kicked off by the Celtic Flame School of Irish who performed a traditional Irish dance for spectators. After a few short words from the Director of Special Olympics PA, Philadelphia, Britt Kleine, and VP of Development for Special Olympics PA, Eric Cushing, the running portion was about to start! The Lucky 7-Mile Race launched for the first time as it started alongside the Classic 5-Mile Race. Shortly after our racers took the course, our 2-Mile Fun Run/Walk participants headed for the course. As our Leprechaun Chasers finished, they were greeted by warm Philadelphia Pretzel Factory pretzels, Bai beverages, bananas, and water. After all the numbers were added up, the 2017 Leprechaun Run raised close to $40,000 for athletes right here in Philadelphia!

Thank you to all of our participants who attended this year’s race – we can’t wait to see you next year! HUGE thank you to all of our volunteers who made this race run smoothly; we hope to see you at more of our events!

The Philadelphia Program's 28th Annual Bowling Tournament

119 athletes from all around Philadelphia met at Erie Lanes on Sunday, March 26th for the 28th Annual Bowling Tournament. Five bowling teams took over the 48 bowling lanes at Erie Lanes. Athlete, Sharon Quarles helped kick things off as she emceed Opening Ceremonies along with Special Guest, Joe Conklin. Each team participated in the Parade of Athletes and stood shoulder-to-shoulder on the bowling lanes. Our athletes lined up spanned almost the full alley! Colors were presented by Frankford JROTC as the national anthem played on a track. Then the moment everyone waits for is the carrying in of the Flame of Hope. Christopher Sferra carried in the Flame of Hope and walked down the 48 lanes at Erie Lanes to ensure everyone could see the Flame of Hope.

Everyone was looking sharp in their bowling uniforms, but South Philadelphia athletes had an extra special part of their uniform as they all donned purple ribbons. The reason for these ribbons is that two athletes’ fathers passed away right at the start of the bowling season. Because of this, the coaches and athletes at this site decided to dedicate this bowling season in memory of the two fathers who passed. The two athletes and mothers were very touched by the thoughtfulness of keeping their fathers’ memory alive and we are sure that both fathers are looking down on their athletes and the South Philadelphia program with smiles on their faces.

After Opening Ceremonies, competition began and Erie Lanes got loud with many strikes and spares. Cheers came from proud family members and volunteers keeping score. After competition was complete, athletes were awarded at their lanes and got a lunch to take home. Thank you to everyone who made this event a huge success and good luck to those athletes and coaches going on to the Eastern Bowling Sectional!

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Lycoming County Program to Benefit From “Raise The Region 2017”

Help us by participating in “Raise The Region 2017,” a huge 30-hour online fundraising campaign in Central PA that starts on Wednesday, March 8 at 6 p.m. and continues through Thursday, March 9 until midnight. The fundraiser benefits 327 nonprofit organizations, one of which is our very own Lycoming County Special Olympics program. Thanks WNEP-TV for supporting this fundraiser and featuring Special Olympics this morning! Donate at:

To learn more about "Raise the Region 2017," check out this WNEP-TV news segment